12 Jun 5 Financial Tips for College Students
It can be way too easy to overspend as a college student. Most of the time, going off to college is the first time that you are financially independent and have to manage your own money, which can pose a few problems. But, by following these financial tips, it can be simple to save money while still having the best time of your life.
Avoid meal plans
A meal plan might sound like a great idea at first, but all of those unused meal swipes can end up costing you more than it’s worth. If you can’t commit to cooking all of your meals, either due to inability to cook or the fact that your dorm doesn’t allow appliances, make sure to take advantage of the meals that you have paid for as opposed to eating out.
Save spare change
All of those coins can really add up! If you’re paying in cash, make sure to keep your coins in a jar or a separate container. It might not seem like a lot at first, but having that little bit of extra cash can make the difference when you’re at the end of your budget. Instead of wasting that money on a vending machine, you could end up paying for a dinner out with some friends.
Instead of buying new books every semester, which can really add up, try to buy or rent used books. Oftentimes, professors will recycle the same book every semester, which makes it easy to find a used copy. Even better, check the library to see if they have the book you need in stock. Be careful, though, because if a book is popular enough it might not always be there when you need it.
Ditch the car
With all of the fees that come with driving, parking, gas, and tickets, it’s almost always easier to walk. Most campuses are pedestrian-friendly; make use of that! Walking is always the cheaper, healthier, more environmentally-friendly choice. If it’s raining, most campuses have some sort of bus transport system that you can use — totally free.
Take advantage of your student discount
If you do need to buy something, make sure to check and see if there’s a student discount for it. Most of the time, there’s savings for everything from movie tickets to clothes. Sometimes there are even more discounts by shopping online, so make sure you check out all of your options.
College is a great time to explore, make your best friends, and figure out what you want to do in life, without breaking the bank. By following a few tips, it can be easy to balance everything you need to do and save a little cash while you’re at it.