5 Money-Saving Tips for University Students

Post-secondary education, in both time and money, is one of the most important investments many of us ever make. Here are five tips to help make more savings happen for college and university students.


Harness the Power of the Student ID

Your student ID won’t just get you into the dorm — it can also help you cut costs on cable and Internet service, public transportation and even concert tickets. Plus, many retailers and manufacturers offer discounts and rebates to students. Look for ID-related deals during back-to-school sales and throughout the year for incremental savings every month.


Be Book Smart

To spend less time stressing about the cost of your textbooks and more time learning from them, consider renting your books instead of buying. An increasing number of Canadian universities, McGill, University of Toronto and Dalhousie, for example, offer rental services from their bookstores or websites. Students can save a whopping 80 percent on textbook costs, which means more money for life-enriching activities…or basics like food and laundry! For hard-to-find volumes, most universities have online forums where students sell or lend textbooks.


Buy Quality

An old proverb says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. In the world of shopping, a similar truism exists, ““Buy quality and cry once— buy cheap and cry forever”. When it comes to essential back-to-school supplies like technology, writing instruments or even home organization products, opt for quality whenever you can. Remember two things: You’ll use these products throughout the season and time is always of a premium when you’re a student.


Compare Prices

Major retailers offer back-to-school deals in the weeks before classes start. Do your homework, and research specials and other discounts. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best prices and use a price-match guarantee to save additional money. For instance, Staples’ price match program offers a 100-percent match. This is especially helpful when purchasing high-priced items like laptops for school.


Use Apps to Your Advantage

Want to save money on campus? There may be an app for that. Download your favourite businesses’ mobile app to snag great deals on back-to-school supplies, meals at restaurants, haircuts or recreational activities. Use apps like BillMinder, which sends notifications of upcoming bills and payments and totals up monthly costs to help you keep tabs on your bank balance.


What it comes down to is this: The art of spending and saving money in college is asking yourself three questions: Do you need it? Will it benefit you or teach you something and will you miss out on something truly important if you don't spend the money? If you can answer those questions carefully and truthfully, you won't regret those purchases later on.

By Adam

July 14, 2014