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Cheap or Free Ways to Reduce Costs by Taking Advantage of Campus Facilities

28 June 2010 No Comment

Students often get too wrapped up in living by themselves to even realize that they’re probably overspending on many common things. Almost every college in the country has the following facilities, and if you’re smart about the way you utilize them, you can save yourself some money each month on your student expenses. In no particular money saving order…

Gym

Most students already take advantage of the free gym and workout facilities their colleges have, but some students are still paying out of pocket for monthly gym memberships. The number one reason students opt for third party memberships is because the gyms on campus are always crowded. A good way to avoid that is to go to the gym when everyone else isn’t. Sounds dumb, right? If you plan your day around going to the gym right after class, or during a break in the middle of the school day, you’ll avoid all of the 5 o’clock crowds that flock to the gym after school. Even if you can’t accommodate your workout every single day during the quiet hours, you can still take advantage of 2 or 3 days a week of non-intrusive gym time and drop your third party gym membership.

Internet

Universities take a lot of pride in being on the up and up with the 21st century technology that’s abound these days. For this reason, almost all universities in the country have very fast internet speeds everywhere on campus. While it may be wireless internet, you can still take advantage of the high speeds for uploading videos to youtube or taking care of large file transfers. Cut your internet costs at home by downgrading to a cheaper DSL plan or something similar so that when you have to email a paper or chat on Facebook in your apartment, you’re not paying for speeds you don’t use.

Food

This one may seem a little crazy in terms of money saving ideas, but every penny counts when you’re in college. Colleges have clubs and organizations that hold inaugural meetings at the beginning of every semester. You’ve probably seen fliers on campus billboards and lamp posts but never took note of the clause, “Food will be served.” Whether or not you’re interested in the club that’s hosting an inaugural event, if you’re hungry enough, it’s a good idea to go. If all you get out of the first club meeting is some free pizza and maybe a new friend, you’ve done well for yourself. That’s one less meal you had to cook and one meal later that you have to go to the grocery store. And who knows, maybe you’ll like what the club has to say.

Furniture

Come the end of the semester, many college freshmen are eager to dump their first year furniture and start fresh when they move into an apartment complex. Scouring the dumpsters the last week of classes or the first week of summer vacation is sure to yield a gold mine’s worth of treasures. You may be hesitant to rummage through dumpsters, but if you don’t take advantage of what’s being thrown out, someone else will beat you to the punch. Couches, beds, you name it and a dumpster somewhere on campus has got it. Obviously, dumpster diving isn’t always easy and it’s recommended that you bring a friend along just in case the dorm RA’s have an issue with the late night pillaging. It’s always good to have backup.

Written by Nick, a frequent contributor to 20smoney.com

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