Because of this, it’s important to learn how to make your resources stretch. Take time to think before you buy. Before purchasing anything, decide whether it’s a must-purchase, a wait-to-purchase, or don’t-really-need-it kind of item. If you do need it, find out how you can get deals or take advantage of free offers. If you can do this, you will save a lot more money and spend much less paying back student loans after you graduate. Here are some specific ideas on how to save money in college:
First, financial aid is there to help people who are already helping themselves but need that extra boost to make it through. It’s one of the best ways to save on your education, and the first place you should start. There are number of grants available to most students that they may not even be aware of.
Go to your campus financial aid office and ask about programs like Federal Pell Grants or academic scholarships and apply for all of them that you can. You will likely need to do this every single year you are attending school. Programs like these are there for people who are serious about getting an education, and if that’s you, you might as well take advantage of them.
Next, and close to the topic of tuition, would be the cost of your books. Never pay full price for a book! Even the books you know you want to keep after you graduate won’t be “used” enough to justify spending more than you should. Your university bookstore likely offers used options, and you may want to consider looking off campus at textbook exchange programs as well. If you don’t have any luck with these options, you can usually get books for much cheaper buy shopping online.
Find a Good PC
Many colleges require students to have laptops these days, but even if yours doesn’t, you’ll likely want to invest in a reliable computer. A PC of your own is invaluable for taking notes, doing research, and completing assignments.
Getting the right gadget for class doesn’t have to cost you a lot, however. Depending on what you need your computer for, however, you may want to opt for an inexpensive model or even something like a tablet PC. Though they don’t have some of the functionality of a full laptop, tablets are convenient to use and easy to carry. They’re great for note-taking on the go and for browsing the web.
Eat Right and Eat at Home
One area where most people spend more money than they should is food. There are countless websites with endless suggestions on how to eat right and spend less.
Some ideas include making veggies a snack, buying a crockpot (go to your local Goodwill to find one used), eating at home (or making a lunch), and, if you are going to eat out, going out at lunch instead of dinner. Also, if you are living in the dorms or on campus you probably have access to the cafeteria.
If you are smart, you will live as close to campus as possible and if you aren’t, you better be getting a really great deal on rent (or mooching off the parents). Either way, if you aren’t within walking distance, be sure to save on gas and parking expenses by using the city or campus transportation systems. If nothing else, it gives you extra study or R&R time before classes or work.
The bottom line is not to let those myths of not having enough money for college get in the way of your education. It’s more than likely that there are on-campus jobs available that you can work around your school schedule, and there are certainly other ways to save money beyond what I’ve mentioned. It will take time, dedication, and drive, but you will not regret it in the end.
What tips do you have to save money during college?
About the Author:
Paul Mansour is enthusiastic about start-ups along with consumer and small business technology. Working within Dell.com, he needs to stay up-to-date on the latest products and solutions and best-in-class ecommerce strategies. In his spare time he can’t resist taking apart his latest gadget and forgetting how to put it back together.