Frugal Student Tip #1 – Don’t Pay Twice

The cost of college is high — and climbing — and that goes for general living costs, too. If you’re a frugal student you will focus on the cost of tuition, fees, room, and board (as well you should), but don’t overlook living expenses for the nine months you’re away at school (or year-round, if you’re already on your own).Frugal Student Tip #1 - Don't Pay Twice. Your fees already cover a lot. Take advantage of it.

Frugal Student Tip #1: Don’t spend money for expenses that are already covered.

The mandatory student fees you are already paying cover many things. Not sure what? Click on over to your university bursar’s web site for a list.

If your student fees includes a bus fee, don’t count out your money when you take the bus. You may just need to flash your college ID.

Bonus frugal student tip: If public transportation costs are covered, stop using your car around town and take the ride that’s already paid for. You’ll save on gas, not to mention wear and tear on your vehicle.

Does your college offer workout facilities as part of your athletic or recreational sports fee? Don’t pay for a separate gym membership, then. If you’re into yoga, see what your university is offering for free before paying the drop-in fee for a class off campus.

Student health fees can cover everything from counseling to prescriptions to flu shots. Make sure you check what they offer before spending elsewhere.

“Room and board” is a standard expense for anyone living on campus, but what does that actually mean? Again, time to check the web site. If your meal plan covers all meals and some snacks, don’t waste a lot of money eating off campus. Sure, go out with your friends, but why not meet for a coffee, or do something together that doesn’t involve food and drink? Walks are still free!

About the Frugal Student Tip Series: There are many ways to cut costs without a significant change in lifestyle. In this tip series, we’ll start with some ideas to hold on to cash you may not even realize you’re wasting. Later on we will get to some more sweeping changes.

Further Reading:

Pinterest Very Pinteresting! Find some frugal tips and ideas on our Pinterest board for Frugal College Students.

Dollars  What can you do for free? Look at this list from Popsugar, for one thing.


Author: Amy Widner

Amy is Vice President, Operations at Smart College Visit. She found her 20+ years of experience in corporate and higher education communication to be almost adequate preparation for her recent experience navigating the college search and admissions process with her oldest child. She finds joy in helping ease the process for all.

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