How can college students save money this fall?

Being a college student isn't cheap these days, especially with more young adults paying for their own education with no financial help from family or friends. As a result, it might be wise for these young people to start doing a little more to ensure that they're saving as much money as they possibly can over the course of the school year.

While college students aren't going to have to deal with their student loan bills while they're at school, the fact remains that other costs they face to attend college can be pretty big, and add up quickly as a result, according to a report from the Harrisburg Patriot-News. One of the biggest costs at the start of each semester, as any college student knows all too well, is that text books can be extremely expensive. However, if they're able to shop around a little bit for these books online, instead of just heading to the school bookstore and buying used there (as even these discounted tomes can cost hundreds of dollars).

What else can be done?
One of the other issues here is that students may often buy books in advance and then end up not needing to use them, either because the professor decides not to, or because they drop the class, the report said. For this reason, waiting to buy additional books beyond the primary text until soon before they're going to come up in the class might often be a good idea.

Finally, when it comes time for a semester to end, trying to sell books online might provide students with a better return on their investment than selling them back to the school bookstore as well. It might even just be wise to enroll in the book exchange programs that many students set up at their colleges as a means of saving money.

Other steps to take
Meanwhile, when it comes to other costs college students regularly face, a lot of them come as a result of entertainment expenditures, the report said. That means things like concerts, sporting events, and other activities. But what many don't keep in mind is that colleges often provide a lot of entertainment options right on campus at no cost, or perhaps a very minimal charge. In addition, many local businesses will also offer discounts to those that present their student ID, and many companies online will do the same for people who sign up with email addresses that carry the .edu suffix.

In general, though, the best rule here is to be vigilant or plan ahead as much as possible when it comes to reasonable costs that a student can expect to face at a given point in the year, the report said. That can help to insulate them form money troubles that might arise but which otherwise may have been avoidable with simple planning.

Whatever money they can save might be best used by putting it away into savings and, when they graduate, using it to pay down whatever debt they might have accrued. That could help them to establish a positive financial situation overall.

Want to learn more?