It’s a new semester for university students and that means hard earned money will soon be disappearing from our bank accounts in the pursuit of the most valuable piece of paper most people will ever own. But there are ways to lessen the financial burden that comes with a new semester.
1. Get Your Textbooks and Supplies Used Whenever Possible.
Getting textbooks used has saved many university students hundreds of dollars over the course of their degrees. Some school stores offer discounted used textbooks but you can often find cheaper textbooks on Ebay, Amazon, and other popular online selling sites. However, the most convenient and cheapest way to get books used is a site called Books2go. This site is free does not require you to sign up to buy textbooks. You can search for textbooks from your specific school and arrange meetings on-campus to buy the books from other students from your school. Books2go has also recently added the option to buy and sell other school supplies like graphing calculators, lab coats, art class supplies, and various other things.
2. Sell Whatever You Are Not Using Anymore.
Selling your textbooks after buying them used and in good condition, can allow you to almost break even. You can then use that money to buy your books for the next semester. All the sites listed in number one can also be used to sell your books. Be aware that Books2go does require you to make an account before you can sell any textbooks or supplies. It is still free and it doesn’t require much personal information disclosure.
3. Carpooling, Bus Passes, and Parking
Getting to school can be expensive when you don’t live on campus. Carpooling with friends or students who live nearby can save on gas money and parking fees. (Note: If you are carpooling with a stranger suggest meeting on campus or another public area first. You can discuss how you will split costs there and it will allow you to make sure it will be safe to commute with them).
Bus passes are cheaper than paying the bus fee every time and some universities have discounted transit passes available for students.
Many schools have pay parking on campus. You can save money by getting a parking pass that pays for multiple weeks of parking at once or by finding legal places to park off campus for free.
4. Bring Your Meals and Snacks From Home.
Cafeteria food is expensive and it often isn’t worth the price. You can eat cheaper, tastier, and possibly healthier by bringing your own food from home. Also, bring snacks and drinks to avoid over priced vending machines that will probably eat your money at least once during your school career.
5. Opt Out of Any Services Included in Your Fees That You Do Not Use.
School fees go beyond tuition and books. These fees allow you access to different services. However, if you own a car and never take the bus the bus pass included in some school fees is completely pointless. Also, if you already have a health and dental plan you can opt out of the school’s plan if you provide proof that you have a health plan. Take the time to research what fees you might be able to opt out of.
Overall, there are many ways to save money this semester. Though I regret to inform you that, short of getting a scholarship or government grant, I have yet to find a way to opt out of tuition fees…