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4 ways to save money as a college student

Varty Yahjian headshot

Varty Yahjian

Rockstar marketing intern

The fall semester is in full swing, and midterms are fast approaching! You may be wondering: How in the world do I save money when I have to buy textbooks, food and supplies?! Many have the same problem at the start of each term, and while it’s stressful to think about, there are ways to maximize your savings and pull back from spending! Sometimes it can be daunting to monitor your finances. It’s always worth setting aside a few minutes to think about securing your current needs while safeguarding your future goals. Here are some ways to spend less, get money and score!

Rent your textbooks on Amazon

Do you really need to spend almost $120 on your marine biology textbook? Probably not, because you aren’t going to be referencing the chapter on echinodermata after you turn in that final exam. By renting your textbooks, you can save tens, sometimes hundreds of dollars, and with an Amazon Prime Student account, you can get them shipped for free for six months! All you need to do is keep your books in workable condition, which means avoid excessive highlighting, writing in ink, and water damage. You can also extend the rental in case you really want to go back and read about sea cucumbers over winter break.

Sell your old textbooks to classmates

In case you didn’t rent your books or bought something thinking you’d want it forever, you can always try selling to classmates. Selling your textbooks is a great way to not only make some money, but to also win some karma points by charging less than the market. Some students even appreciate the notes you might have already in the book! There are several ways to sell, although the best way to get fast cash is on-campus. Websites like Cash4Books, Bookscouter, and Chegg are great places to go if you don’t have any luck at school.

Apply for a work study

Work study is a great way to get involved on campus and to help alleviate some of your living costs, like food and transportation. It’s a federally funded program that works with your school to ensure the hours you work don’t interfere with your academics and other commitments. It’s best to apply for work study early, specifically in January before the academic term you’re applying for. Make sure to indicate on your FAFSA that you are interested in work study! Keep in mind that being awarded work study doesn’t guarantee you a position--keep track of what’s hiring at school and apply as soon as there’s an opening. Some schools may arrange your work study to be carried out at an off-campus job site; check with the financial aid office to be sure. Here are some things to keep in mind once you do apply.

Use your student ID to get discounts

As a student, you are afforded an elevated privilege that includes weekday partying, dorm living, free weekends and most impressively, discounts! Your student ID isn’t just a piece of plastic, it’s a symbol for freebies; from 15% off at Madewell to $300 off your MacBook at the Apple Store, there is a wealth of options out there for you. Looking for a thrill? Check with your school’s office for student life--most institutions offer theme park discounts for current students.

Some companies extend offers like these to recent graduates too. If it’s been two years since graduation and you’re still trying to milk the “I just finished my undergrad!” script, you can head over to the dealership, where makers like Nissan are offering sweet deals in exchange for proof of that diploma.

Don’t let the bank account blues get to you!

Follow these tips and be on the lookout for places and ways to be smart with your scholarly status! If you’re looking for a tool to help you save money along the way, try Rize. Rize uses one account to set, save, and track all of your financial goals, from an emergency fund to student loans, they help you automatically save for goals you care about. It’s a total win, especially since you get an interest rate that’s 15x the national average and Powers Ups that can help you save faster than ever. You work hard for your money, so your money should work hard for you too!