4 Ways to Stretch Your Startup Budget as a Student Trep

College campuses are rife with money-saving opportunities. Here's where to look.

learn more about Marissa Hu

By Marissa Hu

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Editor's Note: College 'Treps is a weekly column in which college and graduate school-based entrepreneurs tackle the topic of entrepreneurship on their campus. Follow this column on Twitter using the hashtag #CollegeTreps.

As a student entrepreneur, you're likely working with a very tight budget. The cost of starting up and bootstrapping your own business can leave you with some empty pockets.

But, being in college can actually boost your entrepreneurial dreams. As a student you have some of the best resources and discounts at your disposal, and you should absolutely take advantage of them as you're starting up.

Here are four invaluable ways that I save money as a cash-strapped student 'trep:

1. Discover Amazon Prime. Need to buy a printer in a hurry? Or a whiteboard for your to-do list? It's not always easy to find the time or transportation to get to the closest store. Amazon Prime is a fantastic service, and they offer students six months of free two-day shipping. After that, you can get a student Amazon Prime account for only $39 a year (instead of $79). All you need is your school e-mail address to sign up.

Related: How to Create Value to Reel in Investors

2. Seek student-only technology and software deals. Student entrepreneurs need a lot of stuff to get work done nowadays: a laptop, computer software, smartphone and tablet, to name a few. Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Sony, Adobe and HP all offer exclusive discounts to students. I've found the software offers particularly helpful, especially when I need the basics like Microsoft Office and Photoshop to run my business. Also be on the lookout for additional back-to-school offers in the fall.

Related: 6 Ways to Land Start-Up Funding on Campus

3. Use available research tools. In college, you have access to some of the most amazing research tools, like JSTOR, LexisNexis and IBISWorld. You might only think about tapping into them when you're writing a research paper on French literature, but why not research the industry in which you're starting up? You can show future investors that you've actually done your homework. Also, I've been able to gain access to major newspapers through my school, which is great for keeping up with trends and financial news.

4. Tap your campus community for help. College campuses are an ideal spot for finding a diverse crowd on which to test your ideas. Your classmates' experiences can help you see things from a different perspective. And, if you need some design work, web development or any other work that you can't do yourself, the student community is a great place to start looking.

Related: Bryan Silverman on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Starting Up in College (Video)

Also, talk to professors who have worked in your industry. I asked my professor to advise me on an independent study project on subscription ecommerce, and I've already learned so much just from a few conversations. You might be surprised at how excited your professors will be to get involved in your startup success.

What are your money-saving startup tips? Share them in the comments section below.

**Apply Now** Are you an enthusiastic college- or graduate-student entrepreneur, eager to share your on-campus experiences? Apply to be a YoungEntrepreneur.com College Treps columnist.

Marissa Hu

Marissa Hu is a first year MBA student at Wharton and the co-founder of Co-Ed Supply, the college care package on autopilot. She's currently studying entrepreneurial management and marketing, while being involved in the Entrepreneurship Club as the VP conference chair.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

This 61-Year-Old Grandma Who Made $35,000 in the Medical Field Now Earns 7 Figures in Retirement
A 'Quiet Promotion' Will Cost You a Lot — Use This Expert's 4-Step Strategy to Avoid It
3 Red Flags on Your LinkedIn Profile That Scare Clients Away
'Everyone Is Freaking Out.' What's Going On With Silicon Valley Bank? Federal Government Takes Control.

How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.


Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.

Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.

Business News

Amtrak Introduces 'Night Owl' Prices With Some Routes As Low As $5

The new discounts apply to some rides between Washington D.C. and New York City.

Business Solutions

This Highly Rated App Could Help Business Owners Stay Organized

Get your business in order with this personal organizer app on sale for $60.