If you’re looking for ways to save money in college, that’s a smart move. One of the most important things as a student is the amount of money you spend during your years in college.
If you don’t plan, you may spend more than you need to. And that can bring serious consequences, taking years or even decades to rectify. For example, you can accrue lots of debt, affecting your financial health and your entire life.
But there are practical ways to help you reduce costs and ensure you stay within budget. Here is your guide to save money in college.
Make A Budget
You’ve probably heard this a million times. So why repeat it? Because making a budget is one of the most critical things to do to live within your means and save money. Luckily, it’s pretty simple. So you can do it even in college.
Making a budget helps you know what you need to spend money on, such as bills, groceries, gas, etc. It also includes what you want to spend money on, like dining out, clothes, movies, etc.
Making a budget also helps you know how much money you can put aside for your savings and emergency fund. You can use different tools and apps like Mint, EveryDollar to save. Budgeting is the first step you take towards saving money.
The money you save can help you pay off your student loans even if you opt for student loan forgiveness.
Cook Food At Home
If you eat every meal out, it’s not only unhealthy but can also be very expensive. The cost-efficient way is to purchase your groceries and cook yourself. If you have classes the whole day, you can pack a lunch or snacks.
Besides, cooking is a great skill to have. You can find simple recipes online if you want to learn more about cooking. If you don’t have the energy, time, or cooking, you can opt for the campus meal.
Campus meals can’t save you much money compared to cooking yourself. But it’s a better option than constantly eating out.
Take Advantage Of Your Student Discount
One of the most significant advantages of being a student is the student discount. That’s because you can get numerous student discounts on many products and services. For example, the local transit system usually has student discount tickets that cost less than the price of the regular ones.
But it’s not just the transit; grocery stores, museums, clothing and book stores, movie theatres, and even technology and phone corporations offer student discounts. Usually, it’s limited to specific days.
For example, if you register for HPs student store, you’ll get up to 35% off computers, printers, and other supplies. Adobe gives 60% off Adobe Creative Cloud, and Banana Republic gives 15% off.
So before you plan the next outing, check to see what offers are available. Also, don’t forget freebies. You can get free software through your college like Adobe, Microsoft Offices, etc.
Buy Second-hand Textbooks, Clothes, And Furniture
You know how textbooks can be expensive. To reduce the cost and save money, you can purchase used or second-hand books. Then, you can resell them after you’re done using the books. The same goes for furniture and clothes.
It’s much more affordable to buy second-hand than buying new clothes. With a keen eye and patience, you can make a lot of savings.
Take A Side Job (Maybe Two)
If you plan your schedules well, you can take a side job or two alongside your classes. Yes, most of your time will be for your studies. But with the right job that works well with your schedule, you can work for about 15-20 hours per week and earn good money.
Some jobs you can think of include:
Becoming a virtual assistant
VAs manage clients’ day-to-day activities, such as managing social media, booking flights, answering emails, organizing schedules, etc.
Sell Your Textbooks And Lecture Notes
Some students won’t be around for some or all the lectures. You can sell your lecture notes and make a bit of money through platforms like Nexus Notes or directly to students. You can also sell your textbook at the end of the semester to make additional money.
There’s always a way to reduce your spending and focus on saving money. Use this guide as a step in the right direction. And don’t forget to be innovative about saving for the future. It’ll be a great benefit to you someday.