Ways to Save Money in College

Ways to Save Money in CollegeAt age 18, I went off to college. I didn’t know exactly how to save money while doing it. In hindsight, I should have searched online for an article similar to this one. But did one even exist?

Probably not. In this article, I’m writing about how I saved money while going to college. College was still far from inexpensive but I was debt-free soon after graduating (9 months). Here’s what I did to keep the costs of college low while NOT sacrificing the quality of my education. And by the time I graduated, I was in the top 1% of my age group.

  1. If you want to study abroad, choose a university that doesn’t charge extra. That’s right. The school I attended charged nothing extra for student who wanted to travel abroad. You were just responsible for your plane ticket. See, the school had several sister schools abroad. They were all in agreement they would charge the same tuition, thus making no difference what continent your school be located on. Scraping together enough money for your plane ticket could easily be done with a minimum wage job.
  2. I worked a lot. Yep, good old fashioned hard work. I wouldn’t however recommend you work for minimum wage but it’s certainly better than nothing. I found a sweet on campus job that paid me a percentage of all the donations I raised for our school. It almost felt like self-employment since I was asking alumni for donations to help ME go to school. I also looked for alternative ways to earn money by using sites like Swagbucks.
  3. I studied fast! Failing a class was not an option. That meant spending more money. I also graduated in 3.5 years to save thousands in that last semester. I practiced speed reading and I got really good and knowing whether or not studying a certain subject for too long would just be a waste of time. If studying for an extra hour meant only a slight increase in my grade, it wasn’t worth it. TIME MANAGEMENT.
  4. I learned. I didn’t waste my time taking classes I didn’t care about. I didn’t try to cheat or squeak my way to an ‘education’. When a professor calls off class, you should be slightly annoyed that you’re not getting what you paid for.
  5. I got student loans but never paid a dime of interest. I used free government money until the grace period passed. When the grace period passed, I would have had to pay about 8% interest. I had no interest in doing that so I saved my money and paid them off in full.
  6. I got scholarships. Dollar per hour, it’s a great gig. Seek out scholarships. Make the process as automated as possible. You may even be able to attend school for free.

Those are six ways you can save money in college as I have done. The trickiest part for saving money however is staying focused on the goal. College tends to bring out the best and worst in people. You’re working to get smarter but at the same time there are temptations to live off student loans alone and not work simply because you don’t have to. Surround yourself with the right people. They will help you stay focused on what’s really important.