5 Practical Ways to Save Money for College

March 22, 2013

 

Photo Courtesy of Incometherapy

Photo Courtesy of Incometherapy

Are you looking for ways to save money for college? Pursuing a college degree is expensive and a challenging endeavor.  This is the part of  life where you need to learn how to manage your class schedule and your finances, as well.  College life is where you discover how to become more independent because you have to take care of your food, transportation, textbooks, supplies, tuition, budget, entertainment and many others.  It is normal to feel scared on how you will handle all these things, but come to think of it, you can actually transform your “fear” into an exciting experience, if you know the effective student money saving tips. When you follow the five practical money management tips, you do not have to worry and panic about getting broke in college.

 

Learn How to Budget Money

Photo Courtesy of Supermoney Save

Photo Courtesy of Supermoney Save

Organizing and keeping track of your finances is the fundamental financial skill that you should learn as an adult.  Getting an idea on how much you need to spend in a month will help you to keep your finances in order. Prepare a worksheet, and track where your money goes.  Keep your receipts so you can easily record your spending.  It is also useful if you want to compare your records monthly.  Remember, you don’t need to spend all your money, make sure that you set aside a portion of your allowance for “rainy days”.

 

 

 

Buy Used Textbooks

Photo Courtesy of How Stuff Works

Photo Courtesy of How Stuff Works

Buying new textbooks can be very expensive.  New science books for instance, may cost around $300 or more. Why buy expensive books, if you can have a second-hand book which is also of good quality?  Look around in a local bookstore near you; most of them sell heavily discounted textbooks in good condition.  You can also ask some college students who are ahead of you and or a friend who took the same course, if they can lend you their books or you can also rent to them.  You can increase your college savings if you are using second-hand textbooks. You can also visit your College Library and borrow textbooks for free.

Did you know that according to the College Board an average student pays around $1,137 for textbooks and supplies per year? Imagine how much you can save for four years (or depending on how long you will stay in college) if you are taking advantage of these opportunities?

 

Look for Freebies

The best thing about college life is that there are a lot of free amenities that you can enjoy inside the campus. As a matter of fact, most campuses offers free gym membership, free movie rentals, guest lecture series, sports activities, student clubs, and dorm diners.  Instead of paying for these services outside, try to look, ask, and build your networks around the campus. Take advantage of these amenities so you can save your money.

Moreover, don’t forget to bring your college ID with you, even outside the campus, there are some shops, bookstores, and transportation services that offer discounts for college students, just smile and present your student ID as a proof.

 

Be Smart and Frugal with your Dorm or Apartment Living

Photo Courtesy of Quizzle

Photo Courtesy of Quizzle

When you are eyeing for some appliances for your dorm, try to check with your parents, if they have old appliances at home which they are not using anymore.  You can borrow it for the meantime instead of buying a new one.  You can also check with your dorm if they have a program for low-cost appliance rentals.  If there is none, there are some companies that offer for rent services, which you can also avail.  Buying new appliances are costly and you may not be able to use it after college particularly if you plan to move-out or work in other places.

If you are living in an apartment, look for few roommates or ask your friends to live with you, so you can split the rent. Living off-campus can be very costly because you need to pay for internet connection, furniture, transportation, phone, and security deposit during summer months.   If you can share these expenses, you can set aside some money for your college savings.

 

Look for Scholarship Grants and other Money Resources

Photo Courtesy of College to Careers

Photo Courtesy of College to Careers

Scholarship grants and other financial aids will help you to pay your bills. Ask your school regarding their scholarship programs and offerings, and how you can avail them.  Do your best to get good grades, so you can be eligible for scholarships for graduate studies, if ever you plan to pursue it. If you have good grades, you can easily build your networks and get good recommendations after graduation.

If you have extra time, you can also look for part-time jobs, so you can increase your college savings. You can also invest some of your money with a discount broker, so you can start saving money for your future. Learning the different ways  to save money will rescue you from being broke.  It will also train you to become more discipline in handling your finances.  If you follow these money management tips by heart, college life will be more fun and rewarding for you.

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