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12 Simple Ways to Save Cash While Getting Your Degree

It's way more than just ramen noodles, man.

1. Do some research before pulling out your credit card.

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It’s stunning how expensive textbooks can be. Before you hit the campus bookstore or even punch that ISBN into Amazon Rentals, see if you can borrow books from a friend or your school's library. Some libraries offer long-term checkouts or allow you to special-order a copy from another library. It can also help to check out Rate My Professors to see if previous students mention how often you actually need to use the textbook.

2. And if you can't borrow a book, look for the best deal out there.

NBC

If you do end up needing to purchase/rent some of your textbooks, it really helps to make a spreadsheet to compare prices and shipping costs. Cross-reference sites like Amazon Marketplace, Chegg, and Textbooks.com, and look for any additional coupons. In the event of the professor writing their own book sold exclusively through the bookstore, pair up with a friend in class and split the costs!

3. Don't eat out too much, silly!

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If you purchased a meal plan at school, use it! Yes, it's fun to eat out with friends, and, boy, it can be tempting to order delivery late at night. But the costs add up. For real though: There's no shame in sneaking a container into the caf and taking a second meal or filling a water bottle up with milk for a pre-bedtime bowl of cereal. You're already paying for it; why not get your money's worth?

4. You knew we were going to say it: ramen noodles.

TBS

The FOMO when you see a pizza delivery car roll through campus can suck you down a dark hole of hangry bitterness. But you can save some money on that outrageous delivery fee and use basic staples to transform a sad noodle bowl into a 'grammable feast packed with cheap extras (if you remember to stock up on a few things at the dining hall first). Adding an egg or swirl of sriracha can do a world of change to standard cup noodles!

5. Rent everything you can!

Bravo

If your dorm lets you have appliances and you need a few things to round out your room, rent things like microwaves, air conditioners, or mini fridges for a small fee! It saves you some cash and gives you one fewer thing to lug home after the school year is out!

6. Get yo'self a coffeemaker!

NBC

Have a coffee fix? If you are one of millions of college students ducking into the corner coffeehouse every morning for your daily cup o' joe, then you are wasting money. If tea is your fix, you can buy teabags at the grocery store and bring them to coffee shops! Hot water is FREE!

7. Skip an overseas spring break.

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Ditch the long flights and travel costs. If you're looking to get away for spring break with some friends, there are plenty of road trips you can take on a budget. Tunes and the open road, baby!

8. Hit the road, smartly.

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If you're going home for the holidays, see if you can get a ride with someone who's heading your way. If you can't nab that ride, do some research on ride-share apps, or hunt down a good student discount deal for a bus or train ticket.

9. No more bottled water!

HBO

It can be easy to buy a bottled water at your school's store, but those prices can add up. Invest in a stainless-steel water bottle perfect for chilled water or hot tea, or look into one of those water bottles that ensures you stay hydrated for the day.

10. Take advantage of campus activities.

Universal Pictures

Going into town to hit up movies, concerts, or malls every weekend can really do some damage to your wallet. Instead, check out what's happening on campus. Campuses play recent movies for free and often host local bands and comedians. You're guaranteed to find something every weekend that won't require you spending a ton of money.

11. Decorate your dorm DIY-style!

Isa Fernandez / EyeEm

Use paint samples from your local paint supplier to decorate the walls of your dorm! Collect as many as you can, and use tape to stick them to the walls!

12. Get an on-campus job.

NBC

And if you're still strapped for the moolah after accomplishing everything on this list, then maybe apply for an on-campus job. If you're blessed enough to get hired by the dining hall, at least you get free meals?

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