While college is a tremendously fun and rewarding experience, it is also easy to go overboard with spending. College is expensive enough, so whether you’re a parent or student, here are some ways you can save money.
- Create a budget and stick to it
Part of becoming independent from your parents is learning how to manage money, so why not start now? Sit down and figure out what you need to to college with a set limit of money you can spend and always make sure to regularly check your progress on that budget. Know if you are spending more than you should and when you have extra cash to throw around. Be smart with saving and create a budget. Start with Zebit’s Instant Budget App.
- Figure out which textbooks you actually need to buy
Textbooks are very important to succeeding college. You will hear more than once that some students purely rely on their textbooks to survive throughout the semester and avoid trouble with difficult professors. That said, there will probably be some classes in which you will never touch your textbook. In these instances, it is vital that you don’t go out and break the bank on a book you will never read. Textbooks are very costly, so make sure you are making an investment on something you will use in the future. And if you’re going to buy books, buy used at local bookstores or online.
- Do not bring the car to college
Unless you really need it. But chances are, you aren’t hauling the whip up to central campus anyways. Between the added wear and tear, and parking, cars can be tremendously costly. Most college campus have limited parking with exorbitant parking fees. Plus, college campuses are tailored to walkers and bikers, and pretty much everything you need will be close by. So unless you plan on travelling somewhere for a job, don’t bring it. You won’t use it as much as you think you will.
- Limit your eating out and buy food in bulk
This actually applies to everybody, not just college students. But it can be tiring eating at the dining hall every day, and you may find yourself wanting to eat at the local Chipotle or pizza place. It can be easy, especially for someone on their own for the first time, to go crazy at restaurants. Try to keep an eye on how much you’re spending though, and remember that there are dining halls on campus.
- Bring money in some money
One of the great things about college towns is how many jobs are available for students. From restaurants to local shops to campus helpdesks, the extra cash you make can help you support yourself, or at the very least pay for your nights out on the town. Plus, it will teach you time management skills.
- Sell your stuff
You will probably not end up using a lot of the furniture that you had in your college dorm after you graduate (even if the furniture isn’t completely wrecked). A great way to prevent from being stuck with useless furniture after you graduate is selling it. There’s always students looking for new furniture, so why not take advantage of the market and put some cash in your pocket.
- Start at a small school and then upgrade
Small colleges–such as community colleges–are mind blowingly cheaper than large institutions, and usually have much smaller classes with similar prerequisite classes. Going to a small school for two years out of high school and transferring can save you big bucks early in your college career.