Let’s face it: College is expensive. When you’re not making payments on your tuition, students are often faced with a cornucopia of choices; all which require money. It turns out Mom was right – nothing in this life is free; time is money! Fortunately for you, I have composed the six top money-saving tips for college students. I want you to be able to make your cake and eat it too! You’re welcome.
- Budget! Budget! Budget!
Here’s the deal: You need to be aware of how much money it costs for you to live so you can consciously stay within your means. As budgeting is a tool that all successful people use to manage their finances, you should probably follow their lead and do the same. On your budget, figure out how much money you bring in and how much money it costs for you to live. The beauty of budgeting is it allows you to practice a habit that will benefit you for your entire life. There are many free applications available to assist you in budgeting. Isn’t 2016 great?!
- Track Your Spending Habits
The smallest of holes seem to sink the largest of ships. Listen, I get it. I want to buy a coffee and a cookie before class too, but often times innocent spending habits turn into holes in your bank account. Having knowledge of where you invest your cash directly leads to your financial success. Similar to budgeting, there are plenty of free applications available to assist you in recording your spending habits. Utilize free resources.
- Cash vs Credit
If there is one takeaway from this article, then this is it: only buy things you can afford. Too often students buy goods on credit only to find that they end up paying much more than the original price after interest charges build up. Be responsible and accountable for yourself. You are in charge of your financial future; make intelligent spending decisions.
- Purchase Intelligently
Saving money is often as simple as making intelligent purchases. When in college, if you’re trying to save money and you need to find the cheapest options available. For food, buy the store brand. For textbooks, download your books instead of outright purchasing them. For clothes, consider going to a thrift store. There are always cheaper options; it’s on you to find them.
- Apply for Scholarships
Simply put, scholarships are free money. Apply for them; free money is always a good thing. Financial aid faculty and staff can also be another great resource to utilize when searching for scholarships. There are often unique opportunities that you may have missed if you are going about this process alone. Leverage everyone you know, it can only help you.
- Choose The Correct Major
This point is often overlooked. To the best of your ability, choose the correct major that you will find fulfilling and will assist you in achieving your life’s vision. Yes, it’s ok to make a mistake and yes, you can always change your major. However, the longer you stay in college, the more it costs you. A great way to figure out what you want to do with your life is figure out what you don’t want to do with your life. Often times degrees such as USF’s online mpa degree are available online which can save you money. Online degrees are typically less expensive than their traditional counterparts.