Mapping Your Financial Journey: Helping Adults Plan for College
Cope with College Costs

Saving Money on Housing, Transportation, and Food

Reduce your housing cost:

Find a roommate. Work out in advance who pays what and put it in writing.

Ask if your landlord would reduce your rent in exchange for performing maintenance or odd jobs on the premises. Or offer to be an on-site manager for a rent decrease or free rent.

Keep transportation costs down:

Carpool with classmates or family members. Offer or request rides on a school bulletin board.

Take public transportation. Students often qualify for reduced fares. Walk, inline skate, or bike if you live close to school.

If you need your own car to get to class, consider one with better fuel economy and smaller loan payments. If you sell a car, you usually can get more money by selling it yourself than by trading it in.

Stretch your food budget by:

Purchase a partial meal plan from your college if you’ll be on campus more than a few hours at a time. Bring healthful food from home so you won’t be tempted by snack bars or vending machines.

Cook nutritious, simple meals at home. These cost substantially less than even inexpensive fast-food meals.

Shop at large grocery stores or food warehouses. Avoid high-priced convenience stores and “boutique" grocery stores. Buy store brands. Wait for sales to stock up on paper products and canned food.

Stick to your shopping list. Avoid impulse buying and don't shop on an empty stomach.

Continue to Saving Money on Child Care


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