Guest Blog Post: How I Saved Money in College by Anixabel O’Niell Rodriguez

For many students, college can be really expensive. As a freshman, many students have no clue how to control their finances. Most of them do not know how to save money and how to manage their funds. In fact, there are college students who are not aware of scholarships and financial aid. (In case you didn’t know, the Free Application Federal for Aid (FAFSA) is available to everyone. The aid is distributed according to each student’s financial need.)

Here are different tips for saving money while studying in order to succeed in college:

First, if you are starting a new class, be aware of the syllabus before purchasing books so you won’t buy another book instead of the one you need. Sometimes students buy the wrong book because they can differ by edition. Also, do not buy new textbooks from the university store. There are other cheaper options, such as Amazon. For my first semester of college, I didn’t know this, All my books from the first semester were bought in the the university bookstore. After buying the books, I realized how expensive it had been and I had no idea of other places where I could buy my books. I knew I did not have the money to spend the same amount of books per semester. For that reason, I decided to look for other options that I could afford and Amazon has been a good one.

If you need a book for a short period of time, do not buy it, check if another student has taken that class or if it is in the library. There are other students who have already taken the class and sometimes they want to sell their books since they no longer need them. Even the library can lend you the book. I have a friend who borrowed a book from the library because she needed it to write an essay for a class. She only needed the book for a research paper, so she borrowed the book from the library instead of buying it. In addition to these options there are other methods to save money with the purchase of books such as checking if the books are in PDF format or renting them online. In my opinion, I prefer to rent books instead of buying them because sometimes you only need the book for a class and not for your career or in the future. I recommend buying the books in your major or concentration and rent the other books that are not so necessary.

Another tip to save money in college is not to eat out too much, try to save money as much as possible. The goal is to stop wasting money on unnecessary things. Try to shop wisely and not make impulse purchases. If you don’t need something, don’t buy it. In other words, don’t take what you do not need. For example, even for loans I wouldn’t recommended to taking out loans for anything not related to your education if you don’t absolutely have to. If you do so, you are going to deal with more debt. To avoid late fees, always pay your bills on time, early, or even twise a month in installments. Remember to keep track of your finances. Watch scholarship application dates and make sure you get your applications in on time.

Last but not least, you are paying to take classes so you need to attend them. Skipping class is like throwing away money just for fun. Learn how to save money in college and not to waste it. Take advantage of every moment to know more about the benefits of saving money in college.