Let’s face it: you’re a college student, you have no money, but you have needs. From buying flights to buying textbooks, here are six of the easiest ways to save money without scrimping on what you really want to do. But buyers beware: just because it’s a good deal, doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy it.
Group buying sites like Groupon.com or LivingSocial.com offer steep discounts on things you might not be spending money on everyday, like spa treatments or restaurant visits, but can be great for special occasions. Keep an eye out for special online deals that can work to your advantage, like a recent Groupon deal that sold $20 gift cards to Barnes and Noble for $10— perfect for buying books. Not all cities have deals yet, so check out locations nearby too.
So the next time you wonder where that $40 went, you’ll be able to track every penny to that new pair of shoes.
Mint.com is perfect for a disorganized college student with multiple accounts and credit cards. It securely links information from your different accounts together and helps create a budget and set financial goals. Link it to your smart phone and you’ll always know exactly what you’re spending. So the next time you wonder where that $40 went, you’ll be able to track every penny to that new pair of shoes.
There is nothing on campus that will drain you bank account faster (excluding tuition, of course) than buying books at the campus store. Sites like Half.com and Amazon will let you buy books used for a ridiculously low price. Amazon even offers a free Amazon Prime subscription with free two-day shipping for students with a “.edu” email address for a year. If a book is still too pricey, try renting it for a semester from sites like Chegg.com or CampusBookRentals.com. Because, really, were you ever going to read Paganism in the Roman Empire again?
There are only so many times when you can eat soggy grilled cheese at the dining hall before you start to crave real food, fried food. CampusFood.com connects you to take-out restaurants in your area and lets you order and pay online. Best of all, it offers weekly coupons from your favorite restaurants.
Whether it’s booking airfare for spring break or home for Christmas, flying always costs a chunk. Students can get special deals online through sites like StudentUniverse.com or STATravel.com. These sites are great for international travel if you’re studying abroad, but as always, book early and shop around for the best deal.
Skype and Google Voice are alternatives to traditional calling that connect you via the Internet. Skype, a free video chat service you download, is convenient for communicating overseas. It also gives you the option to purchase minutes to call phones. Google Voice has the added benefit of free calls to phones in the U.S. and Canada. So really, you have no excuse not to call Aunt Dolores for her birthday.
Christine Loman is a student at Ithaca College and a contributing writer for CampusSplash.