Last time, we talked about getting into a frugal mindset in order to save money throughout college. Now that you’re thinking frugally, what can you do about large expenses that are just unavoidable? You may need a laptop for your classes, clothes for your internship, airplane tickets to go home for spring break…and the list goes on.
Even though these may be things you need and must ultimately buy, you can still find ways to save money on them, too.
Do your Research
When considering a large purchase, never rush into it. Always take your time to research what’s out there. Whether you’re buying textbooks or a new TV, you should make sure you’re finding the lowest prices possible for what you want. Essentially, you should consider the value you’re getting for your money. Moreover, a big purchase means you’re buying something that you will probably have for a long time, so it should have the features you’re looking for.
Wait for Deals
With so much group couponing and online deals available, you should never have to buy anything at full-price. Whether you wait for an online or in-store sale, buy large items at a discount. Sign up for regular emails from discount sites, which work especially well for travel discounts. If something is very expensive and you think you might be able to buy it at a lower price, you probably can.
Put it Off a Little Longer
It is always better to save your money now than spend it. That being said, if you can wait another month or two to make your purchase, then wait. You may find yourself in a better position financially next month. Also, if you have other things you need to buy, waiting can help you spread out the purchases so they don’t hit your bank account all at once.
Brand Name is not Always Better
Forgo expensive brand name items if you can find what you need for less money. Keep in mind that this isn’t the last purchase you’ll ever make, and you may be able to buy what you really want a few years down the road. Furthermore, you can often get the same quality from a product that is not brand name for a much lower price. Be picky and ask yourself if it’s really worth spending more money.
Stay savvy when it comes to spending money as a student, and check back in for more tips on saving throughout college!
Lindsay T. is a recent college graduate living in the Chicago area. She currently writes for Skyo, an online site that helps college students save money with cheap textbooks and flexible rental options. Visit Skyo’s site to learn more about how to buy textbooks online.