How to Save for College While Enjoying Life Now

How to Save for College While Enjoying Life Now
  • Opening Intro -

    Today, more than ever, the cost of a college education is skyrocketing.

    According to The College Board, which provides a nationwide average cost to help students estimate the cost of attending college, admits tuition has risen 129% in the past few years.

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This number is alarming, especially when we consider the fact many students have to take out massive loans and accrue crippling debt to pay for their educations. In fact, after housing debts, student loans are the second largest source of consumer debt.

While, some student debt isn’t necessarily terrible, evidence is showing students with high balances won’t be able to repay their outstanding debt in a reasonable time frame. This dilema creates extreme financial hardships and penalties for the borrower as they are trying to start life on their own. Thankfully, with a little awareness and planning, we don’t have to suffer this all-to-common pitfall. It is possible to enjoy life, while saving for the future, even as we head off or back to college.

Please scroll through the following tips on how to save for college while enjoying life now:

  • Invest in yourself.

    We do have one thing on our side- time. We can use this to our advantage by investing our savings today, so we can accrue interest over a long time span and cash in down the road. No matter if it is only $5 or $10, set aside money to save. Then, invest funds into traditional savings accounts, stocks, diamonds or gold, or even tap into real estate. In addition, many employers offer the opportunity to start a 401k fund where they match your contributions.

  • Avoid paying for labels.

    An easy way to save money, is by using generic or store brands when available. Save your money for a few quality items here and there, but buy generic most of the time to save money without feeling a pinch in the pocket. While it is tempting to purchase designer jeans or an expensive cup of coffee, look for a cheaper alternative first.

  • Avoid credit cards.

    It is tempting, to sign up for a credit card when you head off to college. While it might help you build a credit score, credit cards can quickly ensnare us in a revolving nightmare of high interest payments. Instead, invest in your savings and use cash whenever possible. If you must take out a credit card, please use it responsibly and always pay off the balance before the due date each month to avoid additional fees and interest.

  • Start an emergency fund.

    College is expensive and life happens. Don’t get caught by surprise by fees, car breakdowns, or a roommate not being able to cover his end of the rent. Aim to set aside at least $1,000 in an emergency fund– just in case.

  • Avoid over-borrowing.

    We all know college is expensive and there will be times you need student loans to make ends meet. Instead of taking every penny offered, only take out what you will need. Sure, this might mean giving up that trip to Cancun during Spring Break. However, it may save you thousands of dollars in interest over the years because you borrowed responsibly.

  • Take advantage of student resources.

    Many colleges offer perks for students. Whether it is access to free medical care, free bus passes, a local gym membership, financial planning resources, and even career services, these resources can save you money. Take advantage of these offerings to save without sacrificing a lot of your wants and needs.

  • Look into borrowing or renting books.

    Instead of paying hefty book prices each semester, see if your college library has textbooks available to borrow or consider renting books online. These are feasible options to save a little money and still get the tools you need to succeed.

  • Maximize student discounts.

    Many businesses offer students a discount. Ask around and use those to your benefit. For instance, near my alma mater, a restaurant would have unlimited appetizers and sushi after 9 on Thursdays for $12. It was a treat to go out and one night a week we could enjoy a feast. Also, don’t forget about Amazon Prime’s free trial and discount cost for college students.

  • Buy used.

    When possible, buy gently used items to furnish your dorm or apartment. Often, you can find quality items at a hugely discounted price.

  • Make a budget.

    A simple way to save money is to write down all of your expenses and income. By sitting down and examining what you have coming in and what goes out, you can determine the best areas to cut back. This will realistically show you what you can spend without going deeper into debt.

What tips do you have for saving for the future while enjoying life now?

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Consumer Tips reference:

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Last update on 2018-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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