Ways to Save Money in College
In college, there are a multitude of expenses a student must cover. Sometimes students are so lucky as to have parents to support them and pay for all or part of these expenses. In other cases however, students rely on no one other than themselves to pay for costs of a college education. There are many different expenses and fees a college student encounters when in attending a college or university. To name a few, college students have to pay for: tuition, books, rent, food, and if you drive gas money.
Tuition & Books
Tuition and books make up a large part of a college students’ fees. However, there are a number of different ways to save in these areas
- To help ease the financial burden of the costs of school tuition, financial aid is an option many students turn to. To find out more information regarding financial aid, you can inquire at your school’s financial aid office or go online to the FAFSA website.
- To save on books, one can turn to alternatives such as renting,buying used or asking a friend who has already taken the course for their copy. The prices for renting and buying used college textbooks will always be cheaper than buying new. If your local college bookstore does not offer book rentals or used copies, you can always look for college textbooks online.
- Continuing on with tips to save on college textbooks, another option that is popular among college students is finding a friend (or making one) in your class and photocopying their textbook. In some cases, you may be able to split the price of the textbook and study alongside your friend for the duration of the class.
Rent & Food
For students who are not living with their parents, the costs of rent and food are a major financial burden. Here are some ideas as to how to save money on rent and food while away at college:
- Sharing an apartment or a dormitory is always a good way to save money on rent/rooming as it splits the cost of the space between yourself and the number of people you are living with. In addition, you now have the opportunity to connect and socialize easier than you would if you lived alone.
- To save money on food, the first step is to cut out anything unnecessary. In other words, planning out your meals ahead of time instead of purchasing things to eat on impulse will save you money, organize your budget, and most importantly keep you from getting hungry.
- Another tip to save money on rent costs is to watch your how frequently you use water, electricity, and gas. Utilities are usually included in rental costs, and making sure you turn off the faucet, monitor, or heat when not needed is a good way to make sure your utility bill is as low as possible.
For those students who drive to and from school, and maybe even work, you are constantly reminded of how much of your wallet goes to paying for gas. And with gas prices rising ever higher, college students can do a few things to help with paying for gas:
- Avoid driving when you can. In other words, if the supermarket is right around the corner, or you have a lot of time before class, go for a walk or a bike ride instead of taking your car. Although this is not going to be possible for all occasions, saving a trip in your car now and again will increase the time between each fill up.
- Another tip is to plan your trips and errand runs. You can save a lot of gas by doing things in succession as opposed to constantly running in and out of the house, and going back and forth in your car for chores and errands.
- Watch your cargo load. Heavier cars take more energy to move. This translates into more fuel burned, and more frequent fill ups. A good way to avoid this is to remove any unnecessary luggage or cargo from your car, keeping your vehicle as light as possible and more fuel efficient.