For decades college students across the world have had to make the difficult decision at some point during their college career: Do I buy beer and eat Ramen for the rest of the month or should I go donate plasma and use that money buy beer? Yes college is expensive, but how expensive you ask? You could buy a brand spanking new Mercedes or a used Ferrari for the cost of 8 semesters as an out state student at a State College, or the equivalent of 4 years tuition. I understand that might seem a little far-fetched as your hand is shoved under the couch cushions looking for Jager-money, but that is exactly how you can save some coin. College student spend 5.5 billion dollars per year just on alcohol. Now take that 45 cents you found in the heating vent and put in a jar and slowly step away. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
A few things you can shave the fat off of are:
- Room and board
- Books and Supplies
I know it might be hard to navigate the seas of reading, starbuck sipping ugg-wearing, hang-over nursing student-pedestrians on campus, but riding a bike to class could save you $800 annually. If you prefer to seal yourself in a metal tube with hundreds of other strangers at seven in the morning, instead of balancing yourself on a few metal pipes and two wheels then you’ll also be saving $800 a year. Most college campuses also either have parking meters or parking permits and that could cost you even more money. So get rid of the four-wheeled dinosaur burner and get moving in a different way. Not to mention it’s also eco-friendly and will help you lose the Freshman-Five!
Room and Board
How you would you like a buddy to hang out with to drink (fewer beers because we are talking about saving money) and play video-games with? What if I told you that if you had a roommate not only would you have someone to hang out with but it could save you almost $4.000 a year. If you opt for off-campus housing that number magically goes up to a whopping $6.000. I heard you and your roommate will be going to Cancun this spring-break with all the money you saved?
Books and Supplies
You’d think the most necessary part of college (beyond alcoholic libations) are books, but worry not as there are ways to shave down that hefty yet necessary expense. If you’re well organized and forward thinking you can purchase your books online and spend only about $800 instead of the average $800. O.K. Mr. Morebucks, now that you’ve started saving you want even more you greedy bastard, you can actually rent your text books and save a whopping $647 a year.
I’m going to be Captain Obvious for a moment and please excuse me (or salute me if you prefer); the most necessary expense for a college student is food. If you ignore this expense you will also be forfeiting this plane of existence, and trust me that makes getting a degree in Post-War Social Ethics and Fish Taxonomy much, much more challenging. It’s pretty self-evident but buying groceries and cooking at home instead of ordering pizza in 7 days a week could save you around $1.500 per academic year.
Of course as you learn more about the college lifestyle you’ll also learn how to save even more. Check out this infographic by careerglider.com. If you find any other inventive ways to knock down your expenses feel free to share them below. Consider it kind of like a giant global study group!