Today’s guest blog post is by Barney Whitstance.
Most of the tried and tested ideas for saving money as a college student we’ve heard before; reduce your spending, don’t buy anything on impulse, or get a part time job. But here are a few ideas you may not have thought of. Reducing spending in college means that you can save more and be in a better position to either stay debt-free or pay off your debts faster after graduation.
Research your student loans and increase your knowledge on the subject, which will enable you to make the best decisions. Don’t let your high debts affect your credit score. Save money while you’re in college and apply those funds towards your debts and other expenses so you borrow less and save more. Be sure to read the latest news and policies on the subject, and also find out which degree programs may help you qualify you for complete student loan forgiveness. Of course, also read the following ideas to cut down on expenses while you’re in college:
Buying textbooks at full price is not a very wise decision, in fact it’s tragic. It is very likely that you won’t need these books after graduation, and investing hundreds of dollars for something you probably won’t use much is ludicrous. Even buying used books is still an expensive option. Therefore, try renting textbooks from websites like: Book Renter, or Campus Book Rentals. In case these platforms aren’t able to provide you the needed books, search the libraries near you, check out the needed books, and learn how to speed-read.
Buy used stuff as often as possible
Buy used stuff as much as possible from thrift stores, garage sales, and Craigslist. Buying used from any of these platforms can give you huge discounts on items that would otherwise cost a lot. Be sure to inspect and test items thoroughly, but most of the time these items are found in good shape.
Carry snacks with you all the time
Carrying healthy snacks with you all the time is a very good idea – not only to save money but also protect you from being hungry. At times, being hungry make us feel low, grumpy, or confused. Carrying snacks will keep you out of such spirals and situations. You’ll also save money by avoiding buying expensive food and drinks. Carry fruits, veggies, and nuts and consider make-ahead meals like peanut butter sandwiches, pasta, and salads.
When possible, split costs with others
If you are living in dorms or sharing an accommodation, be sure to split expenses like rent, utilities, food, and even leisure expenses with at least two other people. The more people living together and the more you buy at bulk prices, the less per person expenses are going to be. However, make sure you share many of the same likes, dislikes, and interests with others who are sharing the accommodation; otherwise, it might become a horrible experience. Split the internet, electricity, kitchen expenses, groceries, and entertainment expenses. You save money and also develop great friendships by living with like-minded people.
Pay-off your tuition fees as soon as possible
This idea is actually a counter-intuitive. You’re thinking that if you will spend all your money on tuition, you will be left with nothing to buy food, groceries, or even pay off the utility bills. If you still have some money left after buying and paying for all the essentials (food and utilities) each month, pay that money forward towards your tuition so that you won’t have to make a huge lump payment later. The best thing you can do is to use that money towards tuition. These small payments will eventually add up as time progresses. When you graduate, and realize that you’ve paid hundreds or thousands of dollars, you’ll appreciate this wise idea.
Barney Whistance is an enthusiastic Finance and Economics blogger who is most interested in global economic climate. Apart from doing majors in Finance, he is also a Chartered Accountancy Student and planning to complete his Ph.D. in Finance before he turns 30.