Getting an education isn’t cheap. On the bright side, there are many ways to be smart and thrifty in between listening to lectures and cramming for exams, so if you’re interested in saving a few bucks this semester, here are just three ways to do it.
1. Photocopy Your Textbooks
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on barely-read textbooks that are never worth as much as the day that you bought them, look on the syllabus and see what chapters or exercises will be covered in the course. Then grab a copy of the textbook from the college library and make your way to the copy machine. For a few cents per page, you can copy the relevant portions and tuck them into a three-ring binder like a bootleg version of the book. If your library doesn’t have a copy of the right literature, give someone $5 to lend you theirs. You’ll recoup your expenses in the long run.
2. Get Creative With Gifts
Being a broke college student doesn’t exempt you from buying presents for your loved ones. If you find yourself in a bind when it comes to actually purchasing something for mom’s birthday, however, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. For example, you can buy her a candy bouquet that will last for weeks instead of a floral bouquet that will die before it can even reach her house. As a bonus, you’ll be able to sneak some treats for yourself during your next visit home! Everyone wins with a candy bouquet, so order now to reap the benefits.
3. Become a Guinea Pig
College campuses are full of research studies being conducted at all hours of the day. These studies need subjects, and you can make a surprising amount of cash by signing up for medical studies, shopping studies, psychological studies and sleep deprivation studies. Just be careful about what you pick and who’s running the show. Since the process can range from “filling out a survey” to “hooking yourself up to electrical nodules,” you’ll need to double-check that everything is safe and approved by an academic advisor.
College can be one of the most expensive times of your life, but a little frugality can keep you from reaching too deeply into your pockets. Follow these tips to save money, feel good about yourself and better enjoy your life on campus.