College is a life-changing experience, filled with the excitement and anticipation of the unknown. It comes with many twists and turns; some expected and some most certainly not. One of the many hurdles students face is money; it’s not a cheap endeavor by any stretch of the imagination. Students have to get themselves through college in the hopes that, once they graduate, they have the tools for a well-paid career. However, there are still many years between the first year and the last; so what can students do to save money?
Don’t purchase new textbooks
A huge expense for students alike is the expense of purchasing the compulsory textbooks for the course. One of the ways you can get around this and save a nickel or two is to buy them secondhand. There will be many students who have finished the course who will have no use for the books and want to sell them on. This creates a fantastic economic of supply and demand that actually benefits the student in need. The other option is to use your college library; some texts aren’t compulsory and, while you may need to read a passage or two, you don’t need to waste your precious cash on an unnecessary piece of literature. Instead, you can get the text up online; if it’s really succinct, you can always print a page of the text out to annotate it if you need to.
Stay away from restaurants and cafes
It may be tempting; you may be burning for caffeine while traversing the college ground, you may even be burned out from an all-nighter studying for an upcoming exam. Don’t do it. Stay as far away from any college subsistence outlets, do not buy that coffee and do not go for lunch. Instead, opt for the cheaper option. Invest in a flask for your coffee and make it back where you’re staying. Prepare lunch and take it with you to campus. It may be a little more effort, but it’s cheaper and will make all the difference in the long run; bonus, you get your caffeine fix.
Work out precisely what you have to spend on bills and expenses. If you don’t do this, then you risk burning a hole in your pocket so large that you won’t be able to afford the necessities and you don’t want that. Make sure you set aside all the money you have to spend, this will leave you with the ‘free money’ you have. Bear in mind, this doesn’t automatically mean you can go out and spend it on the newest Xbox, remember you still have shopping, travel and unexpected expenses to pay for. You still have to remember your mom’s birthday, after all. If you budget well enough, you’ll always at least scrape by.
Make the most of student discounts
They are everywhere, and you should use them. Most places will ask for proof, so make sure you have your designated student identification on you so you can reap the benefits. If there’s a cheaper, student alternative, then you should definitely use it.
For the most part, these money-saving techniques will help get you through college without breaking the bank; all you have to do is stick to the rules you set and not have any cheat days.