It’s finally time to make those big decisions about your life. You know, like what college major to choose and what kind of car you want to buy when you get your first job. College is expensive. There’s no getting around it. Tuitions are high, and textbooks cost a fortune. It doesn’t help that the day-to-day routine of a college student leaves little time to get a part-time job.
But, as most parents will tell you, deciding on a college major is just the tip of the iceberg, and there’s also the consideration of cost involved. Sure, you’ve been preparing all your life financially, but how much do you know about moving to college?
Enjoy college in a frugal way
It’s unfortunate they don’t teach frugality with the other courses in high school. Many families find themselves overwhelmed by college costs and are forced to drop their children’s dreams of higher education altogether.
While the financial commitment is more significant for those who attend private or out-of-state schools or live frugally, there are several ways to keep costs down and still have a college experience most people would envy. Planning and finding assistance when you need it are the keys to saving money while still having fun.
Avoid Coffee Shops as Starbucks
Avoid eating at coffee shops as a potential place to grab a meal. A tuition bill can quickly add up. Worse: they can be costly and lead to unhealthy snacks.
Don’t use Uber
Reduce transportation expenses: A car is a luxury that not all students can afford. To save money on gas and parking, start walking, biking, or taking public transportation. Avoid using Uber.
Take advantage of using library books early and often
Don’t delay purchasing a textbook until the last minute. The more time you have to use the book, the less likely you will have to pay for it early in the semester.
Opt for Eat at Your College Dorm Café
Eating your meals at your school dining hall and skipping the pricier dining hall on campus will help you save some money.
Don’t eat out on weekends
Bring or cook your food: This is a great way to save money on food and packaging waste. Brown-bag lunches are not only healthy, but they can also be delicious if you put a little effort into them. During the week, you’re probably going to be eating in the cafeteria, but on weekends. Skip it.
Use thrift shopping for clothes
Unless you like to shop, stay away from the retail stores. It would be cheaper to buy second-hand items.
Look for the best bargains by compare pricing for big-ticket products.
Say no to a gym membership
Avoid gym membership and workouts at the college if you do not want to pay for them. Only purchase a membership to the gym if you will use it. The same goes for fitness classes. Make sure you will regularly go before signing up.
Cancel app subscription if you don’t need it
If you’re not going to use the app, don’t pay for it and do not set it to automatic renewal so that your recurring account will never be charged again.
Sell unwanted belongings
Have a yard sale, sell items on eBay or Craigslist, or donate them to a charity. This will help you raise some extra cash to put towards your education.
Keep track of expenses: This is the best way to learn where you’re spending too much and what areas can be cut down. Make a list of your monthly costs and how much you can spend. Then identify the areas with potential for savings and set priorities. For example, include food shopping, eating out, and entertainment in the budget.
Track Tuition Fees
Check all information about the school, such as tuition fees and deadlines. Also, make sure you know about costs for housing and purchasing textbooks.
Get an apartment on-campus
As opposed to living off-campus in a student apartment that other students share, on-campus housing provides complete privacy for your roommate. It includes all the amenities of the home (like a washer/dryer and microwave).
Rent out a room
If you have enough space, renting a room can be a great way to bring in some extra money each month. You could also offer to do odd jobs for people in your community in exchange for payment.
Get a job on campus
First, make sure the job is going to be enjoyable for you. Not all college jobs are fun, and some can be pretty boring.
Second, inform your boss that you will not be available for hours outside of your class schedule because you have classes and studying to do, too.
Consider a paid internship
Exploring career options while in school (especially if you’re in college early) is a great way to get free labor out of someone who can help build your resume into something work-worthy with minimal effort on their behalf (it’s a win-win). Plus, being on campus means you’ll be near the professor, who will probably be your career advisor.
There are various scholarships available to assist students manage rising education costs. Some are specific to a given university or program, and others have no restrictions on eligibility.
The truth is, you can go to college without going broke. And if you manage to graduate with a degree in hand, chances are good you won’t have outstanding debt waiting for you at home.
You can do all this by saving money and living frugally while in college. The critical factor is making the most of your college experience, whether a prestigious private school or a local community college.
It’s a good thing they don’t teach frugality with the other courses in high school because otherwise, that assumption would be a genuinely costly one. Many families find themselves overwhelmed by college costs and are forced to drop their children’s dreams of higher education altogether.
While the financial commitment is greater for those who attend private or out-of-state schools or live frugally, there are several ways to keep costs down and still have a college experience most people would envy. Planning and finding assistance when you need it are the keys to saving money while still having fun.
College is a significant step in life for young adults. It provides a chance to learn, grow and make mistakes while living away from home. In addition, college means having access to practically unlimited resources: clubs, games, and shopping malls, to name only a few.
It’s important to begin preparing as early as possible to ensure you have time to complete your program and graduate on time with your family, friends, teachers, and peers behind you. By the time you hit high school, you should be forming an idea of what you want to study and what your budget will allow.
However, it also means one has to pay unprecedented high tuition fees and cost of living. But if you follow some strategies, you can save a lot of money and pay for your education without excessive financial stress.
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