Just as every other college is different, every student is different. The only common experience for most students is the constant shortage of finances during their college years. Care packages from home are less frequent and it seems like every other time you confirm your account the balance gets smaller at a very high rate. To avoid insufficient money to spend when in college, you should learn how to budget and save the little you have to stay away from hefty debts.
Finances become an issue, especially if you do not have any experience in budgeting and saving. Keep in mind that money does not grow on trees and things do not get any cheaper therefore manage your cash well. Below we will look at some ways on how to save money in college:
Learn to Save Everyday and Remain Cool
Life on campus comes with many temptations for the naive student. You can blow through your spending without even realizing how fast it is going on a number of ways. Nevertheless, there are many ways to save your money while in the campus without denying yourself the adventures and fun moments that college has to offer.
Meals are a big offender because they can put a huge dent on your funds in college. Certainly, you will have to eat, but if you cultivate a little discipline on your food budget, then you can save large sums of money. In this case, consider the following tips which will help you manage your food expenses when in college.
- Come up with a weekly food budget that you will stick to the whole week.
- Take college meals if you have paid for them instead of purchasing more food.
- Completely cut off unnecessary restaurant spending habits. This can seriously compromise your food budget.
- Avoid taking alcoholic drinks in bars and restaurants. The cost of night outs will strain you financially and this will cause serious implications on your overall budget. Otherwise, make sure you allot a sufficient amount of funds for this category in your weekly food budget.
- Eliminate daily smoothies, coffee drinks, and other treats. These treats are costly and a regular habit could add up quite fast therefore taking a very large chunk of your funds. Alternatively, you can buy a cheap blender or coffee maker and make your own drinks since it is a cheaper option.
Food is an essential requirement, but with some little budgeting and planning, it is possible for you to save a lot of money. As you are strict with your studies, be as strict with your food spending and you will avoid writing home for emergency funds.
Smart Saves on College Expenses
Necessities take up quite a large fraction of your fund. Tuition, fees, books, furniture, clothing, lab fees add up fast, thus leaving you with a small amount of cash to spend on entertainment and food. While these costs cannot be avoided, we have better ways to manage them and eventually save some money. The following tips will be of help:
- Buy used textbooks when possible. The cost of textbooks can be despicable, but used books can even cost half the prices of new ones. By so doing, you could stretch your funds a little more.
- Set up a college savings plan and make the most out of the funds you save.
- Pursue scholarships if possible, even beyond your first college year. Grants and scholarships help a great deal in reducing the overall cost of your college education. Also, in addition to applying for traditional scholarships, checking out weird scholarships might offer easier wins as the competition is generally lower for many. Remember that most of the scholarships are renewable.
- Once you are done with your textbooks, sell them to the campus bookstore or try selling them online. Either way you will recoup some money by passing your used textbooks on.
- Get a part time job where you can work on your leisure time.
In conclusion, it is possible to save money in college so long as you know how to plan your funds. Always analyze your monthly expenses and plan on how to cut back. Maintaining a budget is not as straight forward as you think and it calls for a lot of discipline to do so. On the other hand, reduce all unnecessary expenses and by so doing you will realize your funds stretching further than you may think.