Let’s face it, college is expensive and most students have a limited cash flow. The good news is that a number of businesses realize this and make an effort to accommodate their student clientele. Always keep an eye out for student discounts, and bring your student ID with you wherever you go. Many establishments offer discounts to anyone with a student ID – from clothing stores to restaurants, movie theaters, and museums. Even if it isn’t advertised, it doesn’t hurt to ask. You may be surprised by the savings.
If you drive, look for an auto insurance provider that offers a student discount. If you take public transportation, check to see if your city offers transit passes at a reduced rate for students.
Do you have roommates? If so, there’s another opportunity to save. You could go in together on a wholesale club membership and buy household items in bulk, splitting the cost. If you’re not on a meal plan through your college and you buy your own groceries, couponing is a great resource for students. It may take some time to find the coupons you need, but the savings can really add up. Coupons are everywhere today, from the newspaper, to in-store circulars, attached to individual products, and online.
While the internet is a great place to find deals, try not to browse online for discounts. If you don’t have a specific product in mind you may be tempted to purchase a whole lot of items you don’t really need just because they’re on sale. It can be counterproductive to your goal of saving money. A great money management rule to follow is to search online for discounts only after you’ve identified exactly what you need.
Finally, reach out to your student loan servicer for information on student loan payment programs that can save you money in the long run.
Drew Kessler is Vice President of Marketing & Communications with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.