By Jenna Ryan
Companies and private organizations have recognized the financial burden of higher education. From books to housing and all the other hidden expenses, college becomes much more costly than the initial tuition price. Big name brands offer discounts exclusively to college students on clothes, entertainment and food. Shopping, dining, binge-watching and daily activities are now more accessible with these simple tips and money-saving secrets.
Sites Devoted to Saving Students Money
Why pay full price for clothes, books, makeup and even plane tickets when you can get them at a discounted rate price? UNiDAYS, an online necessity for anyone on a budget, collects discounts and special offers for students on their all-inclusive, free website and categorizes them into fashion, health, beauty, lifestyle, food and technology. Discounts are from popular brands like American Eagle, Apple and Lyft, so students are bound to discover a helpful coupon code to their favorite stores.
Student Universe is similar to the functionality of UNiDAYS, except they selectively cater to flights, hotels and traveling for college students. By putting in the destination and time period on their free program, Student Universe will search through hundreds of airlines and hotels to find the cheapest options for flights and lodging for any student’s trip. Whether flying home for Christmas break, traveling for spring break, or flying for a semester abroad, Student Universe offers 100 percent secured bookings at the lowest rate.
Free Rewards for Must-Have Cravings
Like most college students, if you can’t attend class without Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks in your hand, do your bank account a favor and download their app to save money. Big chain restaurants like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway and Insomnia Cookies offer free memberships where loyal customers can earn points by using the app to order and pay that eventually add up to free items, like coffee or food. The point systems aren’t unachievable if you frequent the businesses. At Dunkin’ Donuts, you can earn a free coffee of any size and flavor within just two weeks of daily purchases.
Big Big Brands, Low Low Prices
Streaming services for music and television are essential for college students today, both in and out of the classroom. This year, Spotify introduced a membership plan where college students can get the Spotify Premium music streaming service along with Hulu and Showtime for $5 a month when they make an account with their student email. They are also offering the first three months for only 99 cents for first-time Spotify users.
Like Spotify, Amazon offers students discounts and deals within Amazon Prime. College students can now get the Amazon Prime service free for six months when they sign up using their student email. After the six months, students will get their Amazon prime account for 50 percent off the regular price and free two-day shipping, including textbooks!
The College Essentials: Textbooks and Laptops
Two of the largest outside expenses while attending college, whether community or university, are textbooks and laptops. Ironically, the two most expensive college items are also the two that are non-negotiable. Almost every class will require a textbook, and a laptop for class, homework and life is considered an implicit requirement. A textbook superhero, Chegg.com is an online store solely for college textbooks. Students can buy a used version of their required textbook or rent a brand new one for the semester for less than half the original price. They also offer a cheap tutoring service, practice tests, and a paper editing service provided in partnership with EasyBib. One of Chegg’s best services allows students to sell back their textbooks to Chegg and receive back almost the full amount that they paid. In terms of laptops, Apple offers up to $200 off on brand new MacBooks for college students, and Lenovo offers 10 percent off brand new Think laptops, as well as free shipping on all orders for students.
Side Hustling and Penny Pinching
Large discounts definitely add up in savings over time, but a majority of college is living from day-to-day. It only makes sense to find deals and make a few extra bucks on campus that will also add up to some major savings. An easy way to get paid hourly and work on a schedule that caters to your classes is online tutoring. Tutors.com and VarsityTutors.com are both online tutoring services where students proficient in specific subjects with above average ACT or SAT scores can get paid to tutor students from their college, their hometown or anywhere in the United States online via video chat. Pay for both sites ranges from $10 to $20 based on level of experience and subject matter.
For the makeup gurus out there, Sephora and Ulta offer five percent cash back on all purchases when students sign up for a free membership. In terms of savings, Ibotta.com and Ebates.com offer cash back on everyday purchases like groceries, clothing, and personal items. Online clothing stores like Romwe.com and US.Shein.com sell modern women’s clothing for very low prices, making them a perfect place to buy quality gameday outfits. Free apps for iPhone and Android users like Mint, Wally and Clarity Money will create a monthly budget plan for college students to help them reduce their spending on campus and keep track of all their accounts.