5 Ways to Save Money While Studying in the US

September 19th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

College is expensive. Between paying for books, classes, and rent it can sometimes feel like the only thing you’re really learning is how to live on a shoestring budget. Luckily, there are some simple things international students can do to save money while studying in the US. To help you out, here are 5 ways to save money while studying in the US:

1. Take Advantage of Student Discounts
Universities offer a lot of fun (and often free) activities for their students. Some universities have a theater that plays free movies, others have free music concerts throughout the year, and many local businesses offer student discounts simply for showing your student ID. Make sure you ask around and look through your school pamphlet for what deals are available to you.

2. Buy Your School Books Online
Books can be very expensive if they are purchased from your university bookstore. If you do not need your book right away, do some searches for books online. Many popular shopping websites offer the books you need for half the price of the University.

3. Eat At Home
It can be easy to give in to the temptation of eating out all the time. It is faster, you don’t have to own cooking supplies (or even know how to cook), and there are usually restaurants all over campus. Not only is eating out all the time unhealthy, it’s also expensive. With just a few pots and pans and a little know-how you can cook all sorts of cheap and healthy foods. The internet is full of websites that cater to people with little time to cook, so if you’re ever in a rush remember that there are countless quick recipes at your fingertips. If you are looking for more help, check out our 10 Tips to Keep Food Costs Low blog.

4. Make a Budget
Between midterms, papers, and extracurricular activities, keeping track of how much you are spending is likely at the lower end of your priority list. However, keeping track of how much you spend is a great way to keep yourself from spending too much. $1 sodas and $3 coffees might not seem expensive by themselves, but they can really add up over time. If you budget your money and keep track of your spending, you can find out where most of your extra funds are going and what places you need to pay more attention to.

5. Meet Local Students
Being in a new country can be scary for international students. You might be tempted to keep to yourself, but every city has hidden secrets that can’t be found unless you make friends someone who has lived there their entire lives. Local students can help you find cheap and free things to do all over the city that you might have never known about otherwise.

One Comment

  1. Elio says:

    Some more tips

    – Use a PURE filter to make your own drinkable water, instead of buying bottled water (+$40/month)

    – Don’t use gas dryer to dry clothes, but hang your clothes inside to dry (+$50/month)

    – In the winter, the air is very dry. Hang up wet clothes instead of using a humidifier (+$30/month)

    – Keep the temperature at 62° F when sleeping or away from home (+$50/month or more)

    – Use energy efficient light bulbs in all your rooms (+$5/month)

    – Use an energy efficient toilet that uses only a half-gallon of water instead of 3 gallons (+$5/month)

    – Use energy efficient faucets and save as much as 50% on your water bill.

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