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That was Easy!

Money Saving Tips for College


By Lisa Rogers-Cherry

Heading off to college can be an exciting time for both students and parents. It can also be a very expensive time if you aren't careful. I sat down and tried to think of ten ideas to help you to go to school without going broke.

  1. Prior to purchasing textbooks, check to see if someone will lend you the book that you need, if not try to get to the bookstore early to get a used book that is in good condition. Make sure that the pages have not been torn out.
  2. Find out if you can participate in an on campus work-study program. If so, try to get a job where you can bring your books and do homework while you are actually making some extra money.
  3. Learn how to eat affordably. Items like Ramen noodles, tuna, and peanut butter taste really good late at night after the cafeteria has closed. Buy snacks in bulk from wholesale or discount stores so that you don't have to buy high priced snacks from the vending machines.
  4. Get to know the staff in the Financial Aid Office. That way you can find out about scholarships that you may qualify for based on your GPA, where you're from, and/or what your major is. From time to time, when alumni pass away, scholarships become available based on specific qualifications.
  5. Stay away from drinking sodas and stop paying high prices for bottled water. Drink tap water or invest in an inexpensive water filter if you don't like the taste.
  6. Make sure that you take care of your personal belongings. Everyone isn't as honest as you are. Therefore take the time to lock up your expensive things when you leave your room. Check to see if you can get renters insurance. Trust me, it's much cheaper than having to replace your laptop.
  7. Check your local newspaper for free events around town. You'd be surprised at how many concerts and cultural events you can attend without spending a dime.
  8. Learn where the local consignment and thrift stores are located. When you need an outfit for a special occasion, you don't have to spend a lot to look stunning. 
  9. Remember what you are going to school for. If you concentrate on academics and school activities then there shouldn't be too much extra time to get distracted by events or items to spend money on. 
  10. Last but certainly not least, I suggest that you steer clear of credit cards. On most college campuses, representatives from credit card companies will offer you a credit card. If you don't have any additional money to pay off a credit card within 30 days, I strongly suggest that you let the credit card company keep their card and whatever gift they are offering you to sign up. I know thousands of people who ruined their credit while in college. Don't become a statistic by ruining your credit before graduating from college. 

Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt: A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). If you have a question or for more information go to, e-mail her at, or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004. 

Bio: Lisa Rogers-Cherry