Studying in college is an expensive undertaking. If you are one of those lucky students who has parents who will pay for the whole college thing, then good for you. But if you are like most college students then you have to worry about money when you are studying. You can always get a student loan, but everyone knows that it won’t last and it really isn’t a good idea to get in debt while you’re still in school. That’s why it would help if you were to learn how you can save the limited money resources that you have.
To help you get started in your aim to save money, we have listed here some effective tips that you can follow:
Save Money on Food
One of the major expenses that you have to deal with when you study in college would be the cost of your food. Students tend to eat out, to buy ready to eat meals or to take out food. But such eating habits can be expensive. While you should think about saving money on your food expenses that does not mean that you have to go hungry or that you need to eat less. There are smart ways that you can cut down on your food costs, without cutting down on the nutrition that you are getting.
You can use price comparison sites so you can check the prices of the different food products that you have to buy. You should also share the cost of the essential food items with your flatmates. When you have to eat out, you should find the most affordable place near your campus.
Use Student Travel Discounts
As a student you should learn how to use the public transport system. You might not like it, but it is the best way that you can get around. You should find out about the discounts that are offered to students by the public transport system that you are using. Never miss out on opportunities which allow you to save on your much needed cash. Instead of getting a car when you are in college, why not use a bike instead? Not only is it cheaper, it is also friendlier for the environment.
Have a Spending Syllabus
One effective way that you can be sure to save money while you are in college is to have plan on how you will be spending your funds. It does not matter how well-meaning you are in trying to save your funds, if you have no clear-cut steps on how you will be using your money you are going to waste some of it. Just write down how much money you have and then list down all of the essential things that you have to spend on. After you have allocated money for all the essentials and saved some amount, then you can decide what you can do with what’s left.
Student Offers When Socializing
It’s the same when you use public transport, when you want to go out and have fun, you should take advantage of being a student. There are many establishments that will offer discounts and even free entry to students. You should not pass up on the chance to use that. There are also restaurants, cinemas and other establishments that would offer freebies to students. Be sure to be on the lookout for those. It’s costly being a college student so there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of anything that can come for free.
Save on Textbooks
According to experts, a student spends an average of $1,000 every year on textbooks. That’s a great deal of money so if you can find ways to save money on your textbooks that would be a great help. First of all you should check your lecture outline and find out which books that you would really have to own and which books are the ones that you can just borrow. When it comes to those books that you have to buy, see if you can just split the cost with a course mate and share the book.
When you are going to buy a book, it is better if you do not get it from the school’s bookstore. The prices that they have are usually higher. Check the internet first because chances are that the book is available there. You also have the option of renting textbooks or buy used copies.
Get a Student Checking Account
Studying in college is also the best time for you to learn how to deal with your finances. Get a student checking account. This is a bank account that is offered to students which have less strict conditions when it comes to withdrawal limits and other common restrictions on bank accounts. You have to learn how to use a checking account and accept the responsibility that it entails. Make sure that the account that you will be getting has an online option to make things easier.
Get a Job
If you are always short in funds then you might want to think about getting a job while you are studying. There is nothing wrong when it comes to having a job while you are in college. You just need to make sure that your studies will not be affected by your work. The most common type of job that you can get would be to work in restaurants. Most restaurants in college towns are always looking for new people that they can hire. There are other types of work too that you engage in while you are still a student.
Get the Right Plan for Your Cell Phone
Having a cell phone is now a must these days, especially if you will be living away from your family for the first time. While there is no question that you need a cell phone to get by in college, you don’t have to overspend on a plan. You have to pick the right plan that would suit your needs. Don’t just go with what the cell phone companies are offering you. Most plans are overpriced with stuff that you don’t need. Pick the features that you really need so you don’t have to pay for anything that you would not be using. You should also consider getting a prepaid plan.
Living in Apartments
If you are not living in a dorm, then you should consider splitting the cost of an apartment with fellow students. You might not like the idea of living with other people, but that can save you a great deal of money. Every dollar that you save is a dollar that you can use for something else. You can also split the cost of the utilities which can eat up a great deal of your budget. You have to be smart about finding accommodations when you are in college. While your comfort is important, you should also factor the costs.
Studying in college is never going to be cheap, but it does not have to break the bank. You need to have some smart moves if you want to stay in college and finish your course. Treat your money with the respect that it deserves.