There is no better place to start saving money than in college. College is expensive and even though you are on a scholarship, it usually will not cover everything that you need for day to day living.
Hereunder is a list of 10 things that you can do to save money in college:
Choosing which school to attend is one of the biggest questions that you need to ask yourself if you are considering college. The costs of schools greatly vary. Ivy League schools costs considerably more than attending a non-ivy league institution.
According an article in Business Insider, Dr. Kat Cohen, the founder and CEO of college counselling firm, IvyWise, an Ivy League education can be valuable for many people, but it’s possible to get a quality education elsewhere for a fraction of the cost.
Therefore, keep cost of the college in mind when selecting a school.
Look Out for Discounts and Bargains
There are stores that have special discounts just for students. So get familiar with who those retailers are. Also, try to buy during times when you can get a deep discount.
As an example, buy extra if you can get two for one on a particular day. Shop during times when there are sales. You may even be able to get a further discount on top of an already discounted price.
Buy Second Hand Text Books
Books can be very expensive and the cost adds up quickly. Try to make a connection with someone higher than you in your programme so you can buy second hand books.
You can also check online to see if the books are available second hand via Amazon. In addition, there may be a pdf version available free on Google. Bear in mind, this may be an older version of the book.
Don’t Fail Any Exams
Failing examinations is costly as you are in essence paying for the same course twice. In addition to losing money, you are also losing time. Therefore, make a study plan and work hard to ensure that you pass each and every course at the first attempt.
Evaluate Living Options Carefully
Apart from your programme fees, your accommodation expense is a big part of your budget. Therefore, take the time to evaluate your costs of accommodation wisely. Is off campus housing more affordable than on campus housing?
Having a roommate could be an avenue to pursue as you are now able to split the costs evenly. Some schools have the options of being a resident advisor, where you can get free accommodation in exchange for your services.
Grants and Bursaries
Explore agencies and organisations where you can get financial support for your studies. Every dollar matters at the end of the day. Therefore, be on the look out for and apply for any type of financial help that you can receive.
Cook Your Meals
Your food bill is another area where you need to manage carefully. Eating out and buying coffee everyday is costly. Therefore, set aside time every week to prep your meals. This will save you money and also ensure that you are eating healthy.
Consider a Distant Learning Option
Colleges today have a choice where studies can get a degree but do not need to take classes on campus. One major advantage of being a distant learning student is that you can consider living at home.
This eliminates moving costs, accommodation on campus which can add up to a lot of money over the period of your study. Therefore, consider a distant learning option as a way to save money.
Manage Credit Cards Prudently
During college you may qualify for a credit card which you should manage prudently. If used wisely, you may be able to earn points which you can apply to several different areas depending on your credit card company.
You will be spending cash anyway for books, food and other amenities. It makes sense to take advantage of the benefits offered by the credit card companies. Ensure and use credit card only for purchases that you have the cash to pay. Avoid putting expenses on the credit card when you do not have the money to fund it. The key is to avoid having huge debt upon graduation.
Don’t Get A Car
Owning a car in college could get very expensive with the general maintenance and other annual expenses such as insurance. It may be prudent to find a way to invest the money that you will spend on a car in college, take the bus and buy your first car once you get your first job.
College is usually a season where some students leave with a large amount of debt. Hope you found these tips and techniques useful in evaluating how to save money while getting a college education.
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