9 tips for saving money in college
College may seem expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many ways to save money while you are a student. Try these tips to prepare for financial success throughout your college career.
When available, opt for used textbooks instead of buying new books. Look up used versions of your required textbooks by NUID number or by course at the university bookstore.
Browse thrift stores around Lincoln for slightly worn decorations, furniture, and clothing. And visit campus resources to update or expand your wardrobe throughout the year, like the Lavender Closet at LGBTQA + Center or the Career Closet, if you’re at the College of Business.
Bus and van services connect the university campuses with full weekday routes and schedules, and students can travel for free. Fueling a meter each day can add up quickly, so if you choose to drive, look for a parking pass that meets your needs.
Save money and reduce your carbon footprint while cycling. Rent a bike from UNL Outdoor Adventures or get an annual student pass to use Bike LNK stations around the city.
Need to take a little walk downtown? Hop aboard one of the city’s newest electric scooters.
While it might seem appealing to go out for lunch or dinner with friends, you will save money if you eat most meals at home and set a reasonable budget for dining out each month. Consider purchasing one of Dining Services’ flexible meal plans. Freshmen can choose from 4 different meal plans, which include Dining Dollars that can be used at Herbie’s Markets and at Unions.
If you love to cook and organize meal times, consider ordering meal kits on Mondays from Campus Rec and enjoy and get everything you need to make a delicious entree for 4 for just $ 15.
There are several resources on campus that can help you save on everything from education to wellness, and many are covered by tuition.
- Campus Recreation Centers – Cardio and weight lifting equipment, sports fields, lap pool, fitness classes, injury prevention and more
- University Health Center – Primary, dental, pharmacy, physiotherapy and more.
- Husker Pantry – Pick up essential foods and hygiene items to help stretch your budget.
- Psychological Counseling and Services (CAPS) – Individual counseling, support groups, therapy groups, etc.
- Husker Tech – Discounts on electronic and cellular services, computer repair and support, free laptop cases and more.
- Libraries – View course reading materials, cameras, video games and DVDs instead of purchasing and access Adobe software, scanners, video recording equipment and more.
- Computer labs – Convenient access to a computer, printer, and scanner at several campus buildings, including Nebraska Union, which is open 24 hours a day.
Talk to your roommates about sharing the cost of things like appliances, room decor, groceries, and utilities. If you’re heading to campus, see if you can carpool with other people who live in your area and have similar class schedules.
There are also many places off campus that you can take advantage of as a student.
Get free or half-price tickets to shows at the Lied Center.
Watch a movie Thursdays at the Lincoln Grand Cinema for just $ 6 with your NCard, plus a free 46 oz popcorn.
Other local and national companies also offer discounts with a valid student card. If you are not sure, ask! Student discounts are not always advertised.
Several campus groups offer free and fun activities throughout the year.
Campus Nightlife hosts events like the Back-to-School Party, street dances, mini-golf outings and more.
Enjoy free bowling at Nebraska East Union Tuesday through Sunday starting August 17, 2021.
Join Campus Rec for free skating evenings on certain Fridays and Saturdays throughout the semester.
Find a variety of fun and free (ish) events that take place every Friday night during the fall semester.
Besides being the main reason you’re in college, your classes cost money, and having to take one twice is an unexpected cost you’ll want to avoid.
Stay on top of your studies, understand your programs, and know important drop / stop dates to ensure you stick to your schedule and graduate on time.
Schedule a free financial coaching appointment or use Big Red Resilience & Well-being’s online resources to manage budget, credit, insurance, student loans and more.