If you’re reading this then you’ve already managed step 1. Planning to save money when you’re in college. Saving money in college is easier said than done, but by reading this you’re on the right track to improving your finances well ahead of the pack.

Buy Your First Car with Cash

One of the largest purchases college students make is their car. This is where you can save a lot of money. There is no need to have the fanciest car in College. Instead, save up and purchase a used car with cash rather than getting a car or personal loan to cover the costs of a brand new vehicle. By the end of its first year, a new car depreciates by around 30%. That’s a huge amount of value lost over just 1 year. Unlike new cars, old cars are better able to keep their value. This is how smart students can save big.

Plan Your Classes

Another way to save big on future expenses is to have a good plan for your classes and degree. College can be extremely expensive and if you’re the one paying for it, which most students are these days, then it’s your responsibility to ensure you pick the right classes and degree. Study smart and ensure you’re on the right path. A change in direction later in the game could cost you big time.

Apply for Scholarships

You might be thinking this advice is coming a little late but you’d be wrong. While high school is a great time to plan your future, it’s not the only time you can apply for grants and scholarships. You can apply for some scholarships every year. Many scholarships go unclaimed or they may not get enough entries, meaning you still have a chance to apply. While it will be harder to find scholarships in College than in high school, this is still time wisely spent.

Buy Textbooks Used or Rent Them

One of the biggest expenses for students are textbooks. While you may think that textbooks aren’t a big deal financially, if you do the math and figure out just how much new textbooks are costing you every semester, you might be surprised. Instead of buying your textbooks new, you can buy used copies for a lot less. If you can’t find what you need used, or you only need a textbook for a short time, then it might be worth looking into renting instead. Another tip is to sell back your textbooks when you’re done with them.

Learn to Cook

Eating out is one of the greatest expenses young people often choose not to go without. But, while each meal mightn’t seem like a great financial expense, it’s a good idea to check the numbers and see what you’re really spending on food each month. Set a budget for your food and stick to it. It’s almost always cheaper to prepare food yourself than to dine out, or even eat premade food from the supermarket. This doesn’t mean you need to resort to only eating ramen noodles for the years you’re at school. Instead, learn to cook, eat well and keep up those energy levels for classes. Your wallet and future self will thank you for the effort.

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