No one wants to be the basic, over-played “broke college student,” but it seems to so many of us end of there anyway. College tuition is expensive on its own, but the lifestyle that comes with college can break what is left of the bank. Textbooks? You never saw that $300 chemistry textbook coming. What about food outside of the dining hall? Coffee? Entertainment? Clothes? How are you supposed to afford to go to college these days?  Here are eight ways to save money in college so you can beat the “broke college student” mentality.

 1) Cut out the expensive coffee

Those $4.95 skinny vanilla lattes add up fast, and going to Starbucks everyday can quickly drain your bank account, especially when you rely on it to keep you going every morning. We all have our favorite high-priced caffeinated beverages, but cutting back to once to twice a week, or even once or twice a month, will make a big difference in your wallet. Can you live with cheaper coffee, or no coffee at all? Your bank account will thank you.

 2) Unsubscribe to online shopping emails

There is nothing worse than receiving an email with the new Lilly Pulitzer releases and clicking the link.  Next thing you know, you’re typing in your credit card number and BOOM, hundreds of dollars down the drain into your closet. The best thing I ever did for my bank account was unsubscribing to those emails. If I really want the latest from my favorite stores, I will go to their website myself. I don’t let them tempt me in my inbox anymore.

 3) Save on textbooks whenever possible

There is nothing worse than having to drop an entire paycheck on a textbook that you might use once. Nonetheless,  you’ll need that book if you want to pass the class, so you have to drop the money. Instead of paying outrageous bookstore prices, look elsewhere. Online resources like Amazon and Chegg are great for finding used textbooks for sale below bookstore prices, but a lot of colleges have resale services on campus, whether it be a real business or student run Facebook groups. Either way, you’ll be able to find that textbook for less than one kidney.

 4) Shop with student discounts

You probably have to have your student ID on you at all times anyway, so take advantage of it. So many stores have student discounts, and while they may not be much, every little bit count. Notable student discounts include most food establishments, J.Crew, The Limited, Apple, Amtrak, et cetera. It never hurts to ask if they offer a student discount, and you’ll only benefit in the end.

 5) Drink water

Coffee expenses add up quick, and if you eat out frequently, so do other drinks. Sodas and alcoholic beverages add up quickly, and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up spending more on cocktails than on dinner.  If you stick to drinking waters instead of expensive gins and tonics you’ll save quite a bit. Even buying bottled water for your dorm instead of 24-packs of soda will keep the costs down significantly.

 6) Take advantage of your dining plan

If your dining plan is built into your tuition bill, you should take advantage of it.  Even in the worst dining halls, you’ll find something to eat, and it’s already paid for, so you won’t be paying out of pocket for Panera or McDonalds or Chipotle.  Take the tea bags. Eat two desserts. Go to town on that buffet. You’re paying for it, so get your money’s worth.

 7) Choose a school that pays for itself

If you can’t afford a certain university with minimal loans, then that university might not be for you. If you’re worried about paying for next semester’s tuition all the time, your money situation is going to be bad from the get go.  Choosing a school with excellent financial aid or scholarship opportunities will allow you to keep your paychecks in your pocket and you’ll be better off after you graduate.

 8) Find the free stuff on campus

Even at once of the most expensive universities in the country, there are so many events happening on campus where you can get free things. Free food is aplenty, and you don’t have to look far to find it. Many campuses also have campus representatives for brands like Vineyard Vines and Victoria’s Secret that are tasked with advertising the brand and hanging out free swag to promote it. Keep your ears to the ground and sniff out the free stuff!

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member