College can be an expensive but exciting time of your life. The costs begin with the application and continue for the rest of your college career. Now that you’ve been admitted to the college of your dreams, it’s high time you learned how to be a frugal (Six Dollar Family) student and live on a budget.
Even if you’ve picked a relatively inexpensive college whose tuition rates are merciful enough not to rob your family of their lifetime savings, you may want to learn how to stash extra cash while studying. Besides you tuition fee, there will be such expenses as course materials, accommodation, food, and transportation. Moreover, no student can completely deny themselves the pleasure of hanging out with friends, which means more expenses.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, you still can afford to spend a little bit on entertainment. And don’t worry about time! Just like our saving tips can help you learn how to live frugally, Edusson.com, an online application essay writing service, can help you spare more time to have more fun.
Reconsider Your Habits
It’s not a secret that our habits can cost us a bundle, especially if these habits are non-beneficial.
Like shopping? Used to buy things indiscriminately in malls while in high school? College is just about getting wiser. Learn to become a more selective shopper. Buy only those things you really cannot do without instead of wasting money on a multitude of pretty things.
Furthermore, try to cut down on caffeine and restaurant food. Cast a farewell glance at your vast collection of latte, espresso, and Americano coffee cups from restaurants, and start making your coffee yourself. Saving experts note that a few people don’t realize how much their morning coffee habit is costing them. The same goes for food.
Of course, college life is more than hectic. Still, lack of time isn’t a reasonable enough excuse to keep on spending tons of money on eating out. It’s good neither for your wallet, nor for your stomach. Blow the dust off your grandma’s recipe book or use your imagination to start cooking for yourself.
Buy Used or Rent
Another common mistake many students make once they get into college is buying new books, furniture, gadgets, and whatnot instead of buying used items. Buying used textbooks and other course materials from seniors is a great idea. Moreover, you can rent necessary books from such reputable online resources as Barnes & Noble or Chegg. Consider buying used furniture you may need in your new dorm room or refurbished electronics on campus. Thus, you’ll save much more of your hard earned money.
Use Credit Card Wisely
For a college student, a credit card can be a saving tool in emergency situations. You can use it to pay for repairs of a 15-year-old family car you took to college or to replace your laptop your roommate has accidentally spilled a gallon of beer on. Should there be such an emergency, be sure to pay your balance on time. We also recommend that you set a reasonable limit on your credit. The less temptation you have, the more you will save. It’s also a good idea to use credit monitoring tools which allow you to keep track of your spending, credit score, and balance.
Don’t Shun Campus Activities
As we have mentioned earlier in our article, entertainment is an integral part of college life. Still, entertainment usually implies much temptation, which, in turn, is fraught with draining your modest student budget in the blink of an eye. Going to movies, pubs, and night clubs is fun, but if you’re on a budget, frequenting such places will be just too much. What’s happening on campus can be as fun and diverting as hitting night clubs. So keep up with campus activities!
We all have different financial situations. Some students have to survive on a shoestring budget, while others can afford throwing Gatsby-like parties every Sunday or hanging out in luxurious restaurants. You just don’t need to keep up. Should you feel that some of your college friends are definitely from another financial boat, don’t hesitate to opt out of some activities and services that can make you go broke. Make sure to inform your friends of your temporary (there will be better, much better times for you!) insolvency and don’t be afraid to spend a night in instead of going out. Good friends will understand and won’t make you feel uncomfortable.
There’s nothing more expensive and stressful that retaking courses you have failed. Good academic performance is something that can save you lots of money and nerves. Get to know the working hours of your college advisor to be able to work with him/her closely. Thus, you’ll know exactly which classes you need to take and when. Be sure to stick to and manage your schedule efficiently. Remember, there’s no time to procrastinate. Every extra year spent in college means extra expenses, which can be an unaffordable luxury for a slothful student.