As a young adult going into college, it can be an exciting and overwhelming experience with many changes to adjust to. College is a good experience that can help you with your future, but it’s also a costly endeavor. In addition to tuition, keeping up the other expenses can get expensive. How do you prepare for college and save money while you’re at school? Check out our guide.

Always use your student ID
Your student ID is more than just a way to verify your status and hold your dining plan points; you can use your student ID to get discounts on everything from tickets to the movies, museums, and other fun attractions. Additionally, your student ID can provide you with discounts on electronics or services. If you do your research, you can find that you’ll save money on everyday things, simply because you’re an active student.

Do work study, get a part-time job, or a paid internship
One of the best things you can do while you’re in college is to get a job or paid internship of some sort. It not only will help you get a little bit of extra money to help out with expenses, but it can also provide you with experience to put on your resume that can help you with the job hunt after graduation.

Take Advantage of Perks
As a college student, you’ll find that there are perks, rewards, and freebies everywhere. Most colleges will have free pizza for showing up to club meetings or discounts or free tickets to your school’s sports games. There may be free movies offered, and you can have free access to a gym as part of your tuition. See what is out there that your school may already be offering and take advantage of these perks. In addition to perks that you’ll find at your school, you can find perks out in the real world as well. For instance, Sikorsky Credit Union has a free checking account that can offer you rewards when you qualify each month.  Learn more about the free Kasasa checking account by clicking here.

Don’t buy new textbooks.
When it comes to buying textbooks each semester, don’t make the mistake of ordering new textbooks. Many campus bookstores may offer you the option to either rent the textbook for the semester at a lower price or offer you used books for purchase. If they don’t have these as an option, you can find lower prices for used books online. A little research can help save you hundreds of dollars each semester.

Purchase reusable items.
Coffee is a necessity for late nights at the library studying for test and finals week. Be sure to purchase a travel mug and make coffee or tea in your dorm room instead of buying a cup each time you need a caffeine boost. Additionally, be sure to buy a reusable water bottle to get filtered water for free on campus. This will not only help save the environment from plastic water bottles, but it can save you some cash or meal points.

Live at home or with roommates
While there is an appeal to living in your dorm in a single-occupancy room or off campus alone, this easily costs more than living with roommates. If possible, save money by living at home with your family and commuting to school. While it may not be the most “fun” or different option, it can easily save you thousands of dollars.

Keep tabs on local happy hours and restaurant deals
It’s no secret that after a while, you may get tired of eating the same few options in the dining hall. Eating out to supplement that can get expensive quickly. Make it a habit to keep track of which local restaurants have happy hours or restaurant deals and promos that can help you save a little bit. This way, you can still have the opportunity to be social and eat out with your friends without the risk of ruining your budget.

Apply for Scholarships
When possible, research and apply for scholarships that can help you fund your tuition. Scholarships, no matter how small, can help you get the cost down and may even be able to go towards textbook and school housing. A little research can go a long way to save you hundreds of dollars a semester.