Teaching you to embrace today while making yourself a millionaire!

I wish I would have understood how easy it is to become a millionaire by starting to save small amounts of money when I was younger...

I feel compelled to share the simple concepts you can apply today....


23 February 2009

Give saving $ the ol' college try (a Noelle blog)

Hello future millionaires! Think that just because you are in college means you have to be broke? This is not actually the case. Here are a few money saving tips I used when I was in college.

1. Avoid University Bookstores. When you tour a campus before you start school they usually walk you past the university bookstore. Don't be fooled into believing this is the only place to get your books! There are usually a number of used bookstores near college campuses. There locations may be common knowledge among upperclassmen, but overwhelmed freshman may not know about them. Used books are a much better deal, especially for gen. ed. texts you don't plan to keep.

Another method is to buy your textbooks online. There will be shipping and handling fees, but you can get rock bottom prices for a lot of books. I always used to find the best deals. They compare the prices at a bunch of book selling sites to find you the best deal. They do all the leg work. With this form of book buying you have to keep in mind that your books may take a while to get to you. It could take one to two weeks. I used to find out who my professors were as soon as possible and either use the university bookstore's website or just go to the bookstore to find out what texts they require. You can usually do this a week or so before the quarter or semester starts and get a jump start on online buying. I wouldn't recommend waiting until you get your syllabus...

Talk to your friends. Have any of them taken this class before? They will probably let you borrow their book (if they still have it) or buy it from them pretty cheap. If you are lucky they may have already highlighted important passages for you. I often had friends recommend classes and we would often borrow or swap books. And if you are taking a class together you might want to split the cost of a book. Just be careful that you stay friends, especially around finals time...

The last and most brilliant way to avoid spending tons of money on books is to see if they are available from your university's library. I have saved myself hundreds of dollars by checking out books instead of buying them. However, this is not going to work 100% of the time. You may not be able to find your Biology text, but it should be easy to find novels or other smaller required texts. It may not seem like the $7.00 for a novel is a lot, but the more classes you take the more you will spend on little books you will most likely never read again.

Also, at the end of each quarter or semester, most used bookstores will be willing to buy books back from you to restock their shelves. Be wary that they will not offer you much (usually a fraction of what you might have paid), but if you don't need the book any more you might as well make some money!

2. Take Advantage of On-Campus Events. University's have tons of money they dedicate to student activities. There are almost always free events on any college campus. I have seen comedians, concerts, first run movies and even the philharmonic for free on my campus. These events are usually promoted around campus via fliers and may even be found on your university's activity board website. These are great opportunities to get a group of people together for a fun evening of free entertainment. I was able to keep better track of these events when I lived in a dorm, so you may want to walk through a dorm on your way home (if you live off campus) and check out the events board.

You also may be able to buy discount tickets through your student union (or similar entity). I have gone to many concerts for fractions of the regular ticket price. And discount tickets are not just for concerts. You may also be able to get discount tickets for movies, plays, theme parks, museums and local area events.

3. Free Food! One of the things I learned when I lived on campus is that events often use free food to boost attendance. Pizza is a perennial favorite and works for most events. Free food can also be offered at the On-Campus events I mentioned above. The best time to take advantage of this is while living in the dorms. Most events in your dorm will probably have food. After all, the resident hall advisors look better if more people attend their events. So swing by for a free meal and some fun on your way out.

Another way to get free food may take a bit of persuasion. Most colleges have some sort of meal plan they require you to carry while living in the dorms. Many students will have meals left over at the end of the quarter or semester. Your college is usually not as friendly as your cell phone provider, these meals don't roll over. Talk to your friends that still live in the dorms. You may be able to talk them into getting you lunch or dinner with their plans. This is usually easiest at the end of the quarter or semester when they are trying to use them all up.

There are so many ways to save money as a college student. Once you know the tricks of the trade you can save tons and still have fun! Please post your comments to share the ways you save or saved money during your time at college.

Stay tuned...

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