Five College Money-Saving Tips

Save money with a roommate by sharing big expenses

Help make the most of your money with college money-saving tips. As a college student, you'll face plenty of new expenses. Get a better sense of the challenges you'll face and how you can save.

1. Coordinate purchases with your roommate(s)

Even before freshman year starts, you can save on smaller expenses by planning ahead so that only one of you is buying a fridge, TV or microwave. You should avoid sharing the cost of an item until you really know each other. Plus, one of you will have to take the item home at the end of the year. But, alternating the cost of big items will save you money, and most dorm rooms don't have room for two of everything.

2. Consider living off campus

This is another good money-saving tip for college. While most college students spend their first year living on campus, many schools give upperclassmen the option of off-campus living to ease the transition into lives on their own. This autonomy allows you to learn the importance of budgeting, paying bills and saving money. Look into bank accounts for students to set up automatic bill pay, gain easy access to your money with ATMs and debit cards, make simple withdrawals and even find savings.

3. Split up housekeeping expenses

Sharing rent, utilities, Internet and cable with one or more roommates can save you a good amount of money. When you first move in together, sit down and agree to how you'll approach this. Will one person collect money from each roommate and then pay the bill? Will you all submit a check for your portion? Be sure you set rules and deadlines for payments as missed payments can hurt everyone in the house.

4. Carpool to school or work

Another benefit of having roommates is the ability to share transportation costs. See if you can coordinate your schedules so you can travel to school together. Sharing the cost of gas between a couple roommates can be a money-saver in college.

5. Don't pool your money for groceries

This college money-saving tip is actually a tip on what not to do. Many roommates think that buying milk, bread, sugar, butter and other staples for everyone to share can help them save a little money by splitting these costs. But, the reality is that these community items can lead to tension between roommates. You probably won't all consume an equal share, and if you buy in bulk, there's a good chance the food will spoil before it's consumed. You're better off keeping groceries separate and using coupons to save you money.

Find more money-saving tips for college from Citizens Bank

While living with a roommate is a great college money-saving tip, it can also be challenging. Do yourself a favor and review more money-saving tips that you can implement as a student. Don't forget to also explore bank accounts for students that can help you manage your money.

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