Six Money Saving Tips for College Students

The new school year is quickly approaching and that means college campuses across the country will be teeming with new and returning students. For most students, college marks the first time they will be living on their own. New freedoms and responsibilities are popping up all around them. Making new friends, attending class and scheduling time for homework are just a few of the challenges students face while attending college.

Another first for many college students is learning how to save money. It’s been widely reported that the cost of college tuition and textbooks has continued to rise in recent years. According to Forbes, the national average for attending a four-year public university is more than $28,000 per year. Finding creative ways to offset these high costs is becoming increasingly important, so here are six money saving tips for college students.

Create and Stick to a Budget

Creating and sticking to a budget is often easier said than done. Before the days of online banking and automatic bill pay, keeping track of your finances required balancing a checkbook, saving receipts or even creating your own spreadsheet. That can be a lot to ask a college student who brings a semester’s worth of dirty laundry with them every time they come home for the holidays.

Luckily we are in the age of convenience and technology. Today, you can visit the app store and download dozens of apps that can help balance your budget. For instance, the free Colonial on the Move app allows you to view account balances, check account activity, pay bills and receive text alerts, all at your fingertips. This makes sticking to a budget easier than ever on the devices we use the most.


Apply for Grants or Scholarships

Scholarship-webSecuring financial aid such as grants or scholarships may seem like a no-brainer for students who are looking for a way to offset some of the high costs of attending college. You might be surprised about just how many grants and scholarships are out there that are not widely advertised. With a little research and perhaps a letter of recommendation or a well-written essay, students can earn much needed money toward books and other must-have supplies. The best thing about grants and scholarships is they don’t have to be paid back! Check out for grant and scholarship options.

Take Advantage of Student Discounts

Student discounts are a little-used benefit of being a college student. These are discounts students receive just for being enrolled in a college or university. There are a number of places that offer student discounts, and all you have to do is ask. Clothing retailers, cell phone providers, computer retailers, entertainment venues like movie theatres, transportation companies and more offer discounts to college students by providing a valid student ID.

Get a Part-Time Job

If it’s possible to fit into your busy schedule, getting a part-time job is a great way to free-up some extra spending money. Restaurants and local businesses on and around campuses are always looking for new or seasonal employees. Also, most colleges offer work-study programs that allow you to work on campus in exchange for grants or other discounts on tuition. Also, if you work in the school library or computer lab, you can usually study while you work.

Shop Smart for Textbooks

Textbooks can put a huge dent in your semester budget. According to a 2014 study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), the price of textbooks has increased 82 percent during the last 10 years. With the high price of textbooks, students often find themselves purchasing outdated text books, or even not buying them at all. This can have a negative effect on grades or course understanding. You can save you money if you rent textbooks instead of buying them. If you have a tablet you can also consider renting e-textbooks from discount sites like or . E-textbooks can save students loads of cash and can all be stored conveniently on your tablet, which will also save you the effort of lugging those big heavy books around campus. If you don’t have the option to rent a textbook, look into selling your textbooks back to your campus bookstore or online at the end of the semester.

Sign-up for No Fee Checking with Colonial

So you’ve saved your cash, why spend it on a checking account that is going to make you pay a monthly fee? Colonial’s no fee checking account is perfect for college students. You only need a minimum of $100 to open your checking account, and there is no monthly maintenance fee. Take advantage of online banking and bill pay, plus text alerts to help you track your spending and keep tabs on your budget. You can use your debit card anywhere Visa is accepted. Download the Colonial on the Move App to make checking your account a snap. You can also visit one of our banking locations to open up a Colonial no fee checking account today.

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