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Belltower Tips: Saving Money as a College Student

Nov 11, 2016
Let’s face it—college ain’t cheap. Basic fees for staples like food (ramen, cereal, etc.), and extracurricular activities (intramurals, frats, sororities, pong involving liquid consumption, etc.) add up quick. And that’s not even considering the actual cost of an education, like tuition, rooming fees and student loans. Bottom line is that saving money as a college student can be as challenging as any course you’re taking—and then some.

If you’re not experiencing dorm life on your parents’ dime, keeping track of your cash flow can be an overwhelming predicament. Luckily, we’ve outlined a couple strategies that you can employ to ensure you graduate with a few Benjamin’s in the bank account.
  1. Part-time job: Some students opt to get a part-time job while attending higher-ed. If you can spare the time between studying and partying, we suggest giving this a shot (of the non-alcoholic variety). Not only does a part-time job look good on a resume—it offers opportunities to network and allows you to scrape in a little dough on the side. Check your campus job board to see if there are any openings, or feel free to browse our openings for on-campus bookseller jobs and book buyer jobs.
  2. Being Resourceful: It’s tough to be resourceful when college is full of experiences that you don’t want to miss. Parties, concerts, spring break trips—opportunities like these arise frequently and without warning. So, it’s important to counter the unexpected with some good old-fashioned resourcefulness. How so, you ask?
    1. Create a budget: A simple Excel document can work wonders—especially when you follow it. Budgeting out certain aspects of your monthly costs can help you keep on track and allow you to sleep easy at night. Plus, your parents will think you’re awesome (but you already are, you savvy student, you).
    2. Assess your Assets: As a college student, you’re at a stage in your life where you’re rapidly acquiring and using/consuming products (and not just of the alcoholic variety). But what about things that are just sitting around? Take a look at what you currently own and start determining what isn’t being utilized. Have a TV that isn’t being watched? What about those old DVDs? And those textbooks from last semester that are gathering dust? Here at Belltower Books, we’ve got you covered when it comes to selling textbooks online for cash.
  3. Build up good credit: This is more of an investment, but it can definitely help you in the long run. Building up a good credit is a huge advantage to when you want to buy that first car or put down that first mortgage. When spending, use a credit card and pay it off on time. Use our tip up above (creating a monthly budget) to help you keep on track of your spending amounts so you stay in good standing with your credit.
Although it may be difficult, a little hard work can be very beneficial for any college student looking to get a leg up in their financial situation. It’s up to you on how you approach budgeting in college, but we suggest getting a head start early. It pays off—literally.