Male and female graduates outside taking a selfie

7 Saving Hacks Every College Student Needs

by Christy McFarland

Parents know college is expensive. Kids might not realize how expensive it can be. College grads are more than aware of how expensive college is, especially if they graduate with student loans.

So how can your college student lower their expenses while they’re in college? Here are seven simple tips to pass along! 

1.  Take advantage of student discounts

Student discounts are everywhere, you just have to look for them! Some of our favorites include: Amazon, Sam’s Club, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Amtrak, Greyhound, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, FedEx and certain movie theaters, hotels and restaurants.

2.   Get a job in the food industry

Why, you ask? Free food. Many times, if you work at a restaurant or food chain, you’ll get hooked up with free food to not only eat during your shift, but to take home with you! Obviously, you’re going to want to make sure you’re clear on the arrangements with your management before taking any food.

3.   Rent (don’t buy) your textbooks  

The days of buying expensive text books and “selling them back” for $3 are over, thanks to renting! There are so many websites out there allowing you to rent your textbooks instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars to buy them. Some sites even let you rent-to-own, including Amazon, who many times, lets you purchase the textbook after the first 30 days of your rental period if you decide you want to keep it.

4.   Eat in

Dorm food can get old, but it’s important to remember you’re paying for that food! Even if it’s paid for in advance of the semester. So, avoid veering out of those dorm food lines and into fast food lanes. If you’re living in an apartment, try to plan ahead and make as many meals as possible at home. If you decide to treat yourself to eating out, determine how much you want to spend. This will help you narrow down your choices!

5.   Apply for scholarships, even after you’re in college  

It’s never too late to apply for scholarships, even if your college career has already taken off! Keep it simple: Stay organized, keep a list of what you’re applying for and have applied for, ask for letters of recommendations and re-use essays where you can. Sometimes the most overlooked scholarships are local, usually carrying a smaller dollar amount. But something is better than nothing and those can all add up!

6.   Graduate early

Graduating early is not always possible, and that’s perfectly acceptable. College isn’t meant to be easy. But, if you find yourself in a position to graduate early – do it! Let’s say you have three classes left to spread out over two semesters. Instead of filling the gaps with fun classes like aerobics, swimming and bowling – opt to graduate a semester early. If you have college loans, your future self will thank you!

7.   Save your spare change   

Rumor has it, a plastic two liter full of dimes averages $700. So, whenever you have spare change - especially the silver coins - save them! We’ll end our article here so you can go dig through the bottom of your backpack, purse and couch.

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Ready to start?

Connect with your local rep or call us at 866-COUNTRY (866-268-6879). Find out more about college savings plans.

COUNTRY Financial® is the marketing name for the COUNTRY Financial family of affiliated companies (collectively, COUNTRY), which include COUNTRY Life Insurance Company®, COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company®, and their respective subsidiaries, located in Bloomington, Illinois.