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Budgeting Tips for College

Budgeting Tips for College

College is often the first time that a student has to make decisions on how to spend money. Spending less is just another lesson that college will teach you.

Here’s 7 budgeting tips that will save you money:

1. Degree Savings

Get your degree in as little time as possible, because it is not just the cost of having to do extra semesters that will cost you, but the lost earnings you could have been making in that time. 

Imagine paying off student loans when you haven’t even gotten your degree!

2. Food

If you are living on campus, there are often options for meal plans, so choose one that best meets your needs. For example, if you only eat at school during the week, but go home on the weekends, choose a plan that covers weekdays only. 

School meal plans are expensive. Cook as much as you can at home, and plan your grocery shopping. A coffeemaker will cut down on coffee expenses, which can be significant.

Avoid going out too often, and if your friends are extravagant, make sure you ask for a separate bill so that you don’t end up financing their treats while you monitor your own eating. 

3. School Supplies

Buy school supplies like notebooks and pens off campus. Maybe they won’t have the school logo, but you will save big. Shop around. Dollar stores, grocery stores and pharmacies sell lower priced supplies.

4. Books

One way to save on books is to buy used copies from the on-campus bookstore, or outlets like Amazon. Be careful about what edition you are buying, which could have outdated information that you can’t use.

Shop around. The on-campus bookstore may have comparable prices as well as convenience, but not always. Check brick and mortar stores, online, or even libraries. 

5. Student Discounts

Take advantage of student discounts. For example, Amazon Prime offers a free six-month membership, and Amazon can be a source of textbooks that can be delivered quickly, when you need them. 

Clothing stores like J. Crew and the Gap offer discounts, and technology companies such as Apple and Dell offer percentages off for students. FedEx gives certain services up to 30% off. Check what you are entitled to!

6. Use Credit Wisely

The first thing to do is get a credit card that has no annual fee and offers the lowest interest rate. Be careful of using a credit card unless it is necessary and you’ll save on interest fees. Always make payments on time, so that you don’t get penalty fees.

7. Sell Things You No Longer Need

Sell those textbooks that you don’t need anymore. Some other things to consider selling are old furniture, technology or household items you aren’t using.

These are ways to save money while in college, but you can also make money. Try getting a part time job in the field that you are studying. 

That way, you are making money and also getting experience which will look great on your resume when you start your career after graduating.