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It’s been 22 years since I was last a student, but I can still remember the lifestyle well. A lifestyle where every penny counted, and a lifestyle where I ate so much Pot Noodle that I haven’t been able to eat it since.

Student loans can be crippling, and scholarships pay for just the essentials. Therefore, in between studies, students need to find ways of staying financially afloat. Well, here is Mr Mark Moneybags to show you how you can achieve that. Being Scottish, I am obsessed with making and saving money.

Discount Coupons & Season Passes

Discount coupons are a student’s best friend, as they can save you a lot of money over the long term. So it would pay to start accumulating them for when you need them.

Since every country is different, I can’t tell each of you definitively where to find offline printed coupons. You may find coupons in newspapers and magazines. I personally get coupons in my mailbox. But as usual, online is where you will find the best offers.

 

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One of the biggest, if not THE biggest, is RetailMeNot, which claims to have 500,000+ coupons for 50,000 stores. They also have a “Back To School” page.

If Amazon is your thing, there are a few places you can check 5 Online Sources For Amazon Promotional Codes and Coupons 5 Online Sources For Amazon Promotional Codes and Coupons Finding promo codes and coupons for Amazon can save you a lot of money. Check out these five great sources and start saving right now. Read More for discount codes. Other possibilities include Rather Be Shopping RatherBeShopping : Daily Updated Discount Coupons for Web Retailer Stores RatherBeShopping : Daily Updated Discount Coupons for Web Retailer Stores Read More , and these 10 possibilities Top 10 Sites For Online Coupons & Promotional Codes Top 10 Sites For Online Coupons & Promotional Codes Read More we looked at back in 2010. And if you’re wondering whether these discount codes actually work, Yaara tested some out Automatic Coupon Finders - Do They Really Help You Save Money? Automatic Coupon Finders - Do They Really Help You Save Money? Like many good things in life, coupons and promo codes are elusive. Saving money is never an easy thing, after all, and when you’re trying to find valid codes for something specific, you usually end... Read More back in 2013.

As for season passes, if you are travelling to college every day on the bus or train (don’t use a car!), then it would be silly to pay full fare every day. Instead, invest in a monthly pass. It works out cheaper in the long run, and it would give you unlimited travel during that month. Just ask at your local bus depot or train station.

Budgeting Tools

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The only way you are ever going to organize your money properly and make it last through the month is to make a proper budget plan. Otherwise you don’t know what’s coming or going, and you will end up using up your monthly allowance in the first week.

To keep things really basic, use Excel Make a Personal Budget on Excel in 4 Easy Steps Make a Personal Budget on Excel in 4 Easy Steps Read More . If you don’t have a copy of the desktop Excel, check out the next section where we discuss that. But in that situation, the free Office Online version of Excel would do very nicely instead. Or its open-source equivalents, Open Office Useful Free Open Office Templates To Make You More Productive Useful Free Open Office Templates To Make You More Productive Read More and Libre Office 9 of the Best Free & Low-Cost Alternatives to Microsoft Office 9 of the Best Free & Low-Cost Alternatives to Microsoft Office Microsoft Office has dominated the market of text documents, spreadsheets and slide shows for years, and for good reason – it’s one of the very best. However, there’s one drawback and that is the price.... Read More .

Note down in minute detail every single thing you spend every monthy – the rent, the groceries, electricity, gas, water, phone, Internet….you get the idea. The bare essentials that you need in order to live your life and do what you need to do. Then stick to the budget religiously. If there is any money left, you can allocate some of it to going out, entertainment, and so on, but that isn’t a bare essential. So it may be that your budget forces you to entertain at home with a pizza, and a movie on TV. Maybe you might find the money for a Netflix subscription The Ultimate Netflix Guide: Everything You Wanted To Know About Netflix But Were Afraid To Ask The Ultimate Netflix Guide: Everything You Wanted To Know About Netflix But Were Afraid To Ask Find out all the best tips and tricks to use Netflix anywhere, any time. This guide is everything you ever needed to know about using Netflix. Read More every month? $8 a month is much cheaper than going out for dinner and a movie.

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If you want to use web tools for making a budget, then you could use Mint How To Use Mint To Manage Your Budget & Spendings Online How To Use Mint To Manage Your Budget & Spendings Online Read More  (which is the crowd favorite). Other options include BudgetSimple, MoneyStrands, BudgetPulse BudgetPulse: Online Personal Budget Management Tool BudgetPulse: Online Personal Budget Management Tool Read More , and BudgetTracker.

Lastly, do NOT use a credit card for anything. Yes, it’s good to build credit, but it is not good when you can’t make the repayments, and the interest starts building up.

Websites Where You Can Use a Student ID For Discounts

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As a student with a student ID and a student email address, you are in the enviable position of getting huge discounts on stuff online. Take for example, Microsoft. You can get a Windows 8 license for only $69.99 Need a Legal & Cheap Windows License? These Are Your Options Need a Legal & Cheap Windows License? These Are Your Options Windows is expensive. For the budget-conscious among you, we have compiled tips and tricks that will help you save money on your next Windows license or product key. Read More , and students get Office 365 for free Students Can Get Microsoft Office 365 for Free Students Can Get Microsoft Office 365 for Free Starting on December 1st, Universities that license Office Education for their faculty and staff can offer students Office 365 ProPlus for free. Read More . Phones, laptops, and tablets How To Make Sure You Get The Best Deals On Back To School Tech How To Make Sure You Get The Best Deals On Back To School Tech Going back to school can be stressful, not only because it's school but also because students often find themselves having to spend money they don't really have. After tuition and books, there's often very little... Read More , are also things you can get student discounts on, if you know where to look.

Even places like Dropbox offer free space to students Dropbox Offers Up To 25 GB Free Storage Space To Students And Schools [Updates] Dropbox Offers Up To 25 GB Free Storage Space To Students And Schools [Updates] You really have to give it Dropbox, they seem to always find a way to give users more and more free storage space—from the free 500 MB space for referral sign-ups to additional 500 MB... Read More every now and then. It really is just a case of keeping your eyes open for special bargains.

Cheap Accommodation Sites & Ways Of Lowering The Rent

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Deciding whether you are going to live on-campus, or off, is going to be one of your major decisions. Living on-campus may work out cheaper than the rent on an apartment off-campus, but the advantage of living off-campus is that you can leave the college grounds every night, and feel you have a life outside of studying. So there are advantages and disadvantages either way.

If you decide to live on-campus, see if there are any part-time jobs in the college that would allow you to trade for room and board (or at least a significantly reduced amount). Maybe they need help in the library? Or maybe as a “Resident Advisor”. Apparently a Resident Advisor is a very sought after and lucrative job in US colleges.

If you want to live off-campus, then there are a few things you can do to minimize the cost. First, don’t accept the first place that comes along. Look around at different places, and see if you can negotiate with the landlord. Don’t sign anything until you are absolutely sure you can afford it. Secondly, see if there is anybody willing to be roommates with you to split the rent. Third, try and rent everything, or buy extremely cheaply on somewhere like CraigsList Get The Most Out Of Craigslist And Stand Out While Doing It Get The Most Out Of Craigslist And Stand Out While Doing It Craigslist has become the go-to site for anyone looking to buy, sell, hire, be hired, etc. However, at the same time, it has the reputation of attracting “sketchy” people. But this article isn’t just about... Read More . You could even strike lucky and get free stuff on FreeCycle Get Free Stuff, Give Away Your Junk & Save The Planet The Freecycle Way Get Free Stuff, Give Away Your Junk & Save The Planet The Freecycle Way Freecycle is the world’s largest network of recyclers who, instead of throwing away, selling or otherwise disposing of their unwanted goods, give it away instead. It’s both an environmentally and pocket-friendly way of picking up... Read More . This would include furniture, kitchen equipment, carpets, etc.

Don’t get a phone line installed. Instead use your cellphone The Best Prepaid Cell Phones On The US Market The Best Prepaid Cell Phones On The US Market Mobile phone contracts suck. Everyone knows it, but we accept them because often we don’t seem to have much choice. The selection of pre-paid phones is poor and off-contract phones are expensive. But perhaps you... Read More (call your cellphone company and ask if they have any special deals for students. If not, start threatening to go to a competitor and see if that entices them to haggle with you), and/or use Skype 10 Tips To Make You a More Efficient Skype User 10 Tips To Make You a More Efficient Skype User Skype can do more than you think. With this article, you'll learn all about its best hidden and advanced features. It's the Skype productivity manual. Read More . Have you seen the cost of landlines lately?

Second-Hand Books & Study Materials

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One of the biggest expenses you are going to face for college is textbooks and study materials. The cost of buying new will eat into your bank account like corrosive acid going through metal. Therefore it makes financial sense to try and buy old used textbooks. This is no time to get snobbish and say you’re not using someone else’s hand-me-downs. The amount of money you would save buying used makes it worthwhile, so swallow your pride!

The first port of call for textbooks would be students finishing their course, who are departing the college. They probably wouldn’t mind earning a few bucks, offloading their books, if they haven’t sold them already BuyBackTextbooks: Sell Your Books to the Store Offering Highest Price [iOS & Android] BuyBackTextbooks: Sell Your Books to the Store Offering Highest Price [iOS & Android] Read More . If that isn’t an option, then there are websites specializing in used student textbooks. Some sites offer rental and some offer outright sales The 10 Best Sites To Rent Or Buy College TextBooks Cheaply The 10 Best Sites To Rent Or Buy College TextBooks Cheaply Today's generation has the best of the online and offline worlds. We didn’t have websites which told us where to find (rent or buy) cheap textbooks. But today’s generation just has to type in a... Read More . Amazon is a good place The Top 5 Sites To Find Your College Textbooks The Top 5 Sites To Find Your College Textbooks Read More to start looking as they have a huge used bookseller sub-section. Other options include Chegg, Textbook.com Buying Textbooks? Chegg And Textbooks.com Should Be Your First Stops Buying Textbooks? Chegg And Textbooks.com Should Be Your First Stops Two of the most used sites for getting textbooks are Chegg and Textbooks.com, but which should you use for your next college textbook buying excursion? Read More , BookRenter BookRenter: Save Money by Renting College Books Online BookRenter: Save Money by Renting College Books Online Read More , and DirectTextbook DirectTextbook: College Textbook Price Comparison Site DirectTextbook: College Textbook Price Comparison Site Read More . You could even save money (and a lot of heavy carrying) by seeing if the books are in eBook format 3 Websites To Purchase Electronic College Textbooks 3 Websites To Purchase Electronic College Textbooks One of the biggest shocks for me when I first enrolled in college was the insane cost of textbooks. Unfortunately, there is really no way to cut out this problem, but if you don't want... Read More .

Cheap Food & Drink

Cooking is where you are going to have to get a bit creative, as food can be extremely expensive. But there are some ways you can cut down on the bill, apart from stacking up the discount coupons.

Buying ready-made meals cost a lot, but you can instead make everything fresh at the weekend, and cook in bulk for the entire week. A few carrots here, a few potatoes there. Some pasta, a sauce. When it is done, freeze most of it, and have the rest for dinner.

If you are stuck for recipes, there are many online cooking resources 7 Good Online Cooking Guides For The Beginner Cook 7 Good Online Cooking Guides For The Beginner Cook Read More . You can take a look at places such as Epicurious, Yummly Yummly Lets You Share Recipes Just by Saying "Yum" Yummly Lets You Share Recipes Just by Saying "Yum" Fans of online recipe sites may have heard of Yummly before as it's been around for a while. But recently it's had one hell of a spruce-up and added a whole lot of new social... Read More , AllRecipes, SimplyRecipes, and MyRecipes. If you have an iPad, you can prop it up in the kitchen and follow along with the recipe, as you go. Not Just Recipes: 4 iPad Apps That Teach You To Cook [iOS] Not Just Recipes: 4 iPad Apps That Teach You To Cook [iOS] Owning an iPad has changed the way I cook and bake in my kitchen. I can now load everything on my iPad, place it in the closest spot where it still wouldn't get dirty, and... Read More

As for lunches, don’t go to the college canteen all the time. Instead, make packed lunches at home.

It’s the same deal with alcohol. Drinking out at bars is going to drain your wallet in no time. Consider buying what you like to drink from a supermarket, and drink at home with your buddies. You would end up saving yourself a fortune.

Working Part-Time & Making More Money

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It sucks having to work a part-time job, when ideally you should be studying. But if the loan or scholarship doesn’t cover all the costs – and your parents are unable to bridge the financial gap – then you would be left with no choice but to find a job.

Obviously, all the usual ones come to mind – waitressing, pizza delivery, dish washing, McDonalds, Walmart. But try and see if you can get something a bit more interesting. For example, if you have any writing talent and tech knowledge, MakeUseOf may hire you How to Get Published on MakeUseOf How to Get Published on MakeUseOf Have you ever wanted to reach thousands of people with your words? If you love technology, enjoy explaining it to others, and can express yourself well, you should give writing for MakeUseOf a try. Read More (or a similar site). Other websites often have “write for us” pages. If that doesn’t appeal, check out Craigslist, and look at the jobs sections 5 Tips For Navigating The Craigslist Jobs Jungle 5 Tips For Navigating The Craigslist Jobs Jungle Unemployment is an issue in much of the world today. There are many people looking for work, but not enough companies hiring. As a result, job hunters are trying to find ways to find and... Read More . Sometimes there are things like writing, editing, web design….things that don’t even require you to get dressed.

Or provide services that other students may want. Offer to type up essays (do NOT do the essay, just type up their notes and check for grammar and spelling errors). Offer to print out their work. If any of them are applying for a job, offer to make their resume. Anyone having a computer issue? Then you are the resident computer repair technician. You get the idea. Think outside the box.

Finally, if you don’t need anything anymore – whether it is your books, your furniture, clothes, DVD’s, whatever, then sell it and make some money! The Internet is the perfect place to do it. eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist are the top three to consider, due to their large in-built customer base. Just bear in mind the fees you will have to pay eBay and Amazon for listing something.

See What You Can Find For Free On-Campus

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A lot of students pay for things off-campus, not realizing that those same things are probably offered for free, or a vastly reduced charge, on-campus. For example, gym memberships. Many colleges have gyms that students can use for free. So why pay for a costly membership for an off-campus gym?

Also, freebies may be getting handed out on campus by promotional companies, to entice you to sign up for something (just be careful what you sign). Campuses may also have free movie night, and other social events. Libraries will take care of your recreational reading needs, they may even have DVD rentals.

Even something like condoms are probably given away by the campus. Hey, you’ve got to have a sex life, right?

These are just some ideas, meant to spark your creativity. Put on your thinking cap, and try to find ways to make that student loan last the 3 or 4 years you need to graduate.

What other ideas do you know of to save money at college? What did I miss?

Image Credits: Tired student Via Shutterstock, Financial Accounting – Shutterstock, Woman Shaking Hands With Estate Agent – Shutterstock, Pizza Guy – Shutterstock, Free Euro Coin – Shutterstock

  1. Mohmmad Ayaz Shaikh
    July 24, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Most of the websites listed above are for US and Canada only. Can you list some websites that offer discounts worldwide?

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