You can find a lot of content about saving for college. But what about saving in college?
College is the next level; the next chapter; the next stage in your journey into adulthood. While all of the movies about college have made it seem like a four-year-long party, college can be pretty stressful. Between classes, projects, midterms, papers, and everything else that is synonymous with a higher education, many students have to worry about finances as well.
Budgeting in college can feel impossible, particularly for those who haven’t had to tighten their belts before. Don’t let your wallet stress you out on top of everything else, use these tips and tricks to save money on everything in sight.
Saving In College By Buying Used Books
Some professors will request that you buy a brand new copy of their book or some other workbook, yet most of the time you can get away with buying used. Textbooks, alongside tuition, can be one of the more expensive aspects of a college education. Perhaps the families of students who attended private high schools (of all U.S. schools, 25% are private) aren’t as shocked by the overwhelming costs of textbooks. But for the vast majority of students, it can come as a big surprise. If you can’t buy used, look at textbook rental services such as Chegg and loan the textbooks for the semester.
Don’t Make Impulse Purchases
You’re young and you want to enjoy life, right? Well, you should be able to do that but you want to make sure you don’t go broke in the first two weeks of school. You should create a weekly budget and allocate funds for various needs in order to curb your habit of making impulse buys. This will help saving in college easier. If you really need a new pair of shoes, then you can justify contributing to the roughly $29.75 billion in annual consumer footwear spending in the United States. However, if you’re walking around the mall and see a $200 surfboard when you go to school in the Northeast, keep walking. Only spend your money on the things that you need, or at least use that principle for the big purchases.
Make friends with the microwave
Everyone always jokes about microwave dinners being their saving grace during college but if you want to save money then that’s the route to take. Eating out every day can put a serious hole in your budget and leave you with pennies for the things that you really need, like electricity. Maybe your school offers a meal plan and you can eat at campus dining halls. Unfortunately, that still costs a lot of money and isn’t really necessary. You should definitely use their services but try to keep all of your costs low. If you’re serious about budgeting, then limit eating out to one night one night a week, at most. Don’t be afraid of insta-noodles and crackers.
Find The Good Deals
You’ve always scoffed at your parents for clipping coupons or going sale shopping but now it’s your turn. Anywhere you can save a buck, do so. Check your local newspaper for coupons and keep track of all of the sales at your local grocery and retail stores. Remember to grab the coupons before you leave, especially since statistically speaking, 66% of people are more likely to use a coupon if they can physically hold it. You can end up saving a lot of money on your daily grocery needs with a few coupons and a good sale, so keep your eye out.
Learning to save money while you’re in college can not only make the next few years of your life a little easier but can drastically help you in the future. Eventually, you’re going to need to budget for things like a new car and home, so learning to budget now can be a great stepping stone. With 5.51 million homes sold in 2017 according to the National Association of Realtors, you can start saving now and have enough for your down deposit in no time! Just remember to look for the deals and swallow your pride. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Are you saving in college? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.
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