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PFCollege: Use Your College Facilities

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Personal Finance for College Students Series Seal This isn’t so much a personal finance tip as it is a general tip for all you college kids out there: Use the various facilities at your college or university while you can (for free) because you’ll miss it when you’re gone. Think about it… you probably have a free gym, free internet, free television, and you’ll be close to a library; so take advantage of it! When you leave, you’ll pay a minimum of $30 a month for a gym membership (which you’ll probably have to drive to), a fat $80+ or so for internet and cable, and you’ll probably need to drive to the closest library. All those resources will likely be within walking distance.

Also, make it a habit to go to the library if you want to read a book, magazine, or newspaper instead of buying the book or subscribing to the magazine or newspaper. I almost never read a book cover to cover and I almost never read a book more than once, so why pay for the cow when you can get the milk for free? :)

Consider an even more drastic case in the event of magazines or newspapers, you will likely never read a magazine from two months ago or a newspaper from a week ago. I personally never read a newspaper because I get the most up to date information online (you should to if you’re concerned about timeliness) and I really don’t want to get a subscription because I don’t read the whole newspaper anyway. I never read the Style, Classifieds, Automobiles, or Sports (I’m not a fan of any of the local teams) sections so why waste the ink or the trees (or recycled paper) on pages I won’t even separate? But, if you are a fan of newspapers, your library will have them and you’ll only cut down a couple branches a year instead of a forest. :)

This article is part of a series called Personal Finance for College Students (hence, PF College).

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7 Responses to “PFCollege: Use Your College Facilities”

  1. Excellent post! These are all great ideas for students to save money in college! I’ll be linking to this post so my readers can know about this.

  2. mjh says:

    I don’t know if you get this over there in the US, but here at my university in New Zealand we get free medical consultations, a lot of free procedures and heavy subsidies for prescriptions etc. As I’m graduating soon I’ve spent two weeks getting a real good going over: a general check up including blood tests (no charge), wart burnt off (no charge), a mole removed ($30, free antibiotics) and some travel vaccinations (at cost). All this would have run to hundreds of dollars, if not a thousand or more.

    Also, most libraries will have a vast selection of high quality audio-visual materials for their music, film, literature (etc) students. At my uni we’ve got a selction of movies far superior to any video store, and all for free.

  3. Martha says:

    The biggest loss I felt was the gym. I didn’t start going regularly until Senior Year (thanks to Rachel who got me going) and when I graduated I looked at the gyms around my apt in NJ and the cheapest one was $75/month. Who knew that I got such a good deal at school! Also, go to those free lectures on interesting things. After school you’ll have to pay quite a bit for them!

  4. Flexo says:

    The “free” (that is, paid-for-in-tution) medical services at college is a really important deal that a lot of students don’t take advantage of enough. I know I didn’t.

  5. Debt Hater says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I still use my ID from grad school to get discounts at the movies, bookstores and any place else it’s accepted even though I graduated four years ago!

  6. twins15 says:

    Great post… the Library I’ve found to be especially excellent… loads and loads of great stuff in there that not enough students take advantage of.

  7. John Wilks says:

    I love taking advantage of my University’s library and weight room. I especially like audiobooks on cassette tape.


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