6 Ways to Save Money that (Most) College Students Don’t Do

Having some extra cash in college is always a good thing! The problem is there are tons of things that you need to pay for food, textbooks, rent, a social life, and tuition. The list goes on. I love finding ways to save money as a college student. These are some of my best ways to save money while in college.

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1. Get class credits for the fraction of the time and cost of a normal class

Taking a CLEP exam during the Summer of 2016, saved me some time and money over a regular class. For those that don’t know, a CLEP exam is a test administered by College Board (the same organization that makes the SATs/AP tests/PSAT). The exam can sometimes replace a class you had to take and is normally lower than the price of a regular class.

For instance, I took CLEP exam for my Marketing 301 class. In all, I only paid $140 to buy the exam, protector, and practice material. I spent a week or two studying for the exam, and I passed the exam!

Sadly, not all universities allow you to take a CLEP exam to pass a certain class. I wrote a post on how you can save money and time by taking a CLEP exam.


2. Buy software super cheap as a college student

There are a lot of great posts on how to pay less for your textbooks, but there are none on cutting the cost of software. Depending on which major you have, the cost of software can be more than your textbooks. I can’t be the only one looking for a great deal on Adobe software.

Well, I found out that student discounts are a big game changer. Last year, I took the plunge and bought the entire Adobe suite for the year. This year, I realized that I wanted to buy Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, and InDesign. Even with the student discount Adobe offers, I would have needed to pay $50 a month. By buying Adobe Creative Suite through thinkEDU.com, it averaged to around $18.33 a month and I have access to more than just the 4 programs.


3. Use discounted gift cards

In 2016, I wanted to pay less for my textbooks. The problem was I needed to get an access code for one of my textbooks. I had looked at different websites, but my university’s bookstore was offering the cheapest price since I had to get a custom edition of the textbook. I felt defeated. Then, a brilliant thought hit me!

My university’s bookstore has a partnership with Barnes and Nobles which meant I could use Barnes and Nobles gift cards to pay for my textbooks. I bit the bullet and decided to buy some discounted gift cards.

Honestly, I was so scared that I was going to get ripped off all in my pursuit to save money in college. I found out how to avoid getting ripped off when buying discounted gift cards. Once I did my due diligence, I opened up an account with Raise and bought over $100 in discounted gift cards.


4. It’s all about the promo codes

I’ve always followed the philosophy that there is always a discounted price out there. This led me to finding out about searching for promo codes online! The first time I searched for a promo code, I was looking to pay less for an access code I needed. As we all know, there are very little alternatives to paying full price for access codes because you can’t buy I used one and one company determines the price of the code.

Even so, I found a promo code that took off 15% of the cost of my access code. I found that it’s easier to find promo codes for Pearson/Mylab stuff. My favorite site for promo codes is Retail Me Not.


5. Use that Student ID

It’s easy to forget all the discounts you can get as a student! You want to have a social life while not running out of money. This is where discounts for students comes in handy.

Find out what businesses provide a student discount. A lot of restaurants offer student discounts. Then see if some of them are places you can go to instead of where you usually go to hang out. For Spring Break, I’m going to Denver, and this is one of the methods I’m using to save money.


6. Sign up for Barnes and Nobles’ College Perspective Panel

For the last couple of years, I’ve been on Barnes and Nobles College Perspective Panel. Once you’re accepted on the panel, you will be sent surveys that you can answer for points. The points can be redeemed for a Barnes and Nobles’ gift card.

What’s the catch?

Only college students that are university’s bookstore is partnered with Barnes and Nobles can apply. If you meet the requirements, you can sign up here.

What’s your favorite way to save money in college?

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