More than sixty percent of college students claim that they struggle to pay for studies and accommodations. This adds extra pressure and stress on them, which eventually affect their productivity and academic performance. Hence, saving money regularly is critical for college students. Below are some money-saving tips that are often overlooked but extremely beneficial.
1. Make a Budget
It’s easy to run out of money by spending foolishly. Creating a realistic budget that you can follow is essential. Make the budget accurate; do not miss out any bills or payments.
Learn to sacrifice your wants for your needs. You can save big by only purchasing items you actually need.
It takes time to find the right budgeting methods. If the first one does not work for you, keep making changes and adopt a different saving technique, until you find the one that offers the perfect balance. It is extremely important to incorporate savings in your budget that you might need for the rainy days. Emergencies can arise at any time. This extra fund that you set aside can really help you in a sticky financial situation.
2. Spend Less on Books
Don’t spend a fortune on textbooks that you don’t need. Buy textbooks only after you have attended the first few classes. This way you could save money by not buying books for the courses you plan to drop. Moreover, you can ask your professors which books are necessary and which are not, and make calculated decisions.
Look around for best prices both online and at the local bookstores. Purchasing books from the college bookstore might be convenient but is often more expensive. You can always purchase used textbooks, as they are a lot cheaper. Furthermore, you can look for alternatives to textbooks in the form of E-books, online sharing and PDF files
3. Spend Responsibly On Transportation
College students, who own a car, have to spend a lot of money on its fuel, maintenance, insurance, parking permits, and possibly, tickets. To save money, get yourself a bus pass for a small fee. Get a bike or simply walk to attend your classes. A little exercise is always good for you. When you do not have any other option, you can carpool with friends. It can be a lot of fun, as you talk and sing along. Sharing a car can help you all contribute to the cost of gas.
4. Save Money on Food
College accommodation offers several yearly meal plan options with varying prices. Students are allowed to take any option; small or large. You should consider purchasing the light meal plan. Usually, students eat only two-times a day and can grab some snacks to help them get by the rest of the day.
If you limit eating out and call off food delivery, it could save you ample money. Besides, if you do not want to use the meal plan you are paying for, you should go for grocery shopping and eat at your place. College is a time to discover yourself, you can learn to cook. While shopping for groceries, be smart and go to discount grocery stores instead of the expensive ones that charge extra for providing a better shopping experience.
5. Avail Student Discounts
Major stores and brands offer student discounts. Your student ID can grant you lower prices on items ranging from movie tickets to computers. Your student discount can be particularly beneficial when you want to travel. From subways to airlines, there are student discount offers almost everywhere.
6. Manage Personal Finance
All college students should be careful about personal finance. Always avoid signing up for credit cards you don’t really need. Access to credit cards often results in overspending. When you do get yourself a credit card, make sure you keep your limit low, so you can keep better track of your spending. Make sure your interest rate is low. You can always pick the financial institution with low interest rate.
Don not land yourself in trouble by taking out unnecessary loans. You might find it appealing to take additional loans, so that you can live a little more comfortably, but if you accumulate a large sum of loans it will be very difficult to pay them off once you have graduated. It could take many years after graduation, before you get to keep your hard earned money from your job. Always keep yourself updated from the amount of debt you will have at graduation, to avoid the shock. You can also start planning ahead, the ways you could return those loans.
Paying interest early pays off. Every year you are in college, your student loan interest gets bigger. Even paying only a little bit toward your interest each month can help you end up with a lot less interest accumulated.
7. Work Hard and Get Scholarships
Good grades and extraordinary performance can make job hunting and getting recommendations a very easy process. It can also help you achieve the best scholarships and allowances set aside for high achievers. Find some more scholarships here.