1.) Save big on Amazon Prime
Amazon offers a specialized Amazon Prime discount that’s just for college students. For those unfamiliar, Amazon Prime is a membership program that offers free shipping on most products sold on Amazon. Just by providing them with a .edu email address, you get 50% off a yearly Prime subscription. Since you can share Prime with up to four other people, you could split the cost with roommates or family to get the cost even lower.
Amazon Prime also includes its own music streaming service (so you can stop paying for Spotify), its own online video service (goodbye Netflix), and even some free before-market e-books! With that range of services, plus free shipping, Amazon Prime for students might be your budget’s best friend.
2.) Trim the travel costs
Visiting home, going on spring break trips and traveling to potential employers can really eat through your budget. Fortunately, there are several programs designed just for college students that can help you out. The Student Advantage, ISIC and ISE cards can all help keep the costs down at least a little bit.
The Student Advantage is the highlight for domestic travelers. These cards costs $22.50 and require verification of enrollment. In return, you get a 10% discount on Amtrak, a 20% discount on Greyhound and discounts on some hotel bookings. These are far from luxurious ways to travel, but the prices can’t be beat!
The International Student ID Card (ISIC) offers lots of benefits for student tourism. Educational excursions, like guided tours of historic European sites, are deeply discounted, as are domestic and international train travel. The ISIC card also includes discounts on Amtrak and Greyhound, along with some online and local retailer discounts. These cards cost $25 and require proof of enrollment. A photocopy of your ID will do.
The ISE card is another option for the international traveler. It costs $1.99 for a mobile card, but requires both proof of full-time student enrollment (a transcript) and proof of identification (the information page of your passport). This card includes many more deeply discounted tourist destinations as well as savings on airfare, rail travel and other modes of transportation.
3.) Save on software
Colleges tend to be all about sharing (or software piracy, depending on your perspective). Major publishers, recognizing this trend, have gone on the offensive by offering discounted versions of their signature products to college students at phenomenal discounts.
You can find Microsoft’s Office Suite or new versions of Windows for a fraction of retail prices. Adobe’s Creative Cloud software (which includes Photoshop) can be had for nearly 70% off the retail price. Norton offers a seriously reduced fee for antivirus software and computer security, too. These are programs you’ll need anyway, and with a student email address, you can get them at a price you can afford.