College can be really expensive, with high tuition fees, lodging expenses along with travel expenses. No wonder why student loans are on the rise. But there are definite ways to cut down and make some savings so that you can take the educational trip, buy a book, or get your parents a surprise gift. Read on for some amazing tricks.
Why is it good to save money?
Tuition fees along with other costs of the college can drain out even the last penny in the pocket. But there are ways that you can save money in spite of the heavy expenses. Saving money is also very important to mitigate sudden expenses arising out of emergencies. Moreover, with a handsome amount in your bank’s savings account, you would also be able to start your post-college life on a good note.
But easily said than done! So how do you not be a miser in college life and still save aside some of your monthly allowance? Below are some of the best ways you can save money for post-college life.
12 TIPS ON SAVING MONEY IN COLLEGE
Here are a few effective money-saving strategies that you can follow to save more and spend less in your college life.
1. List down all your expenses
You need to list down all your expenses even the minor one on a spreadsheet and analyse which expenses you can cut down with a little effort. Work accordingly.
2. Live in shared accommodation off-campus
Living at few minutes distance from the campus with some friends of yours can reduce your accommodation expenses by quite a margin.
3. Buy used textbooks
Rather than having new books for all your subjects, buy used textbooks or rent new books. This will reduce your expenses spend on academics. You can also eco-friendly and say no to printed textbooks by using e-books.
4. Make summers the earning season
Rather than spending the summer holidays in leisure trips, use it to earn some quick bucks. You can work at a restaurant, at a bank or take up other job you find suited for yourself. This creative way of saving money in college will also add a feather to your cap for your career.
5. Manage your meals
Rather than having meals outside, it is better to cook for yourself. Make your own breakfast everyday and stick to the college cafeteria for lunch. If you really want to go out for food find discounted food coupons or gift cards.
6. Have a sound plan for your classes and degree
It is often good to ensure whether the course you are going for is remunerative or not or what are the employment chances of the course. Also, ensure that you have a proper plan to pay off your loans and mitigate daily college expenses.
7. Search for grants and scholarships
Try to get a grant or scholarship for any portion of your study before planning to avail loans. Also, try out sponsorship for your studies. Fill out the FAFSA form early. Also check 529 plans to cover non college expenses.
8. Graduate early
The best tip on saving money in college has to be to graduate early. So, you should stick to your major. Changing your major multiple times only extends the time and hence the cost of college increases.
9. Discount, promos and deals for shopping
Use Yelp to collect gift cards or discount points to wade through the shopping expenses easily. Many places offer student discounts. Enquire about those discounts before availing any service or making a purchase.
10. Boost your credit score
Use rent payments and other payments you make to boost your credit score. Use services like Rent track to make your rent payments count on the credit score. Use free student credit cards rather than normal credit cards to cut down on the interest and save on the bank charges.
11. Travel on Student Pass or car pool
Rather than travelling in your car, it is better to have student pass and use the public transport. Also, talk with your room mates for a car pool if possible. Most colleges have partnerships with local transit and can arrange for such a pass.
12. Use available on campus facilities
Whether it be gym, online study zone, libraries, cafeteria, free events on the campus, getting your works printed, use campus facilities as much as possible. These facilities come at discounted rates and useful in saving money.
Using these budget tips, college students can easily save a lot without having to compromise on their everyday lifestyle.
Where to save money as a student?
College life doesn’t mean cutting down on entertainment, parties, explorations and others but finding ways to reduce the cost of doing such activities.
The best is to open a savings account and save a good amount every quarter. Check for the interests that are accruing. Also, a small investment of the savings can be made on treasured bonds or low risk stocks. Another great way to save money in college would be to create a monthly budget and stick to it. When you have a benchmark to follow, the chances of going off trail are low.
If you do not know how to budget your money in college, here is an outline with the items that you need to consider.
Outline for a College Student’s Budget
College students need to include the following essentials while preparing their budget:
- Tuition fees
- Rental Costs
- Textbook and School Supplies
- Hardware Equipments
- Transportation Costs
- Fooding costs
- Scholl/ College Activity fees
- Personal Expenses
- Home Supplies
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