The cost of college is not what it used to be 20 years ago. College is expensive, and there are not many signs pointing towards an upcoming decrease in tuition. Not only does tuition cost a pretty penny, but you have to support yourself during college.
In addition to the cost of tuition, the cost of living shows no signs of falling either. Stuck in a world where it costs a whole lot of money to get an education, it is vital that you compile a bag of usable, money-saving tricks to combat your financial stress.
Grocery shop and cook your own meals
It is not typically a good financial decision to pay for the campus meal plan. Most of the time, students end up spending money on fast food and other eateries. The money spent on a meal plan could be better spent.
Try grocery shopping and cooking your own meals. Not only will it cost you less to cook your own food, overall, but grocery shopping provides the opportunity to eat healthier. If you want to take it a step further and be green, purchase your tote bags in bulk, and save even more green.
Buy used or rent your textbooks
Purchasing brand new textbooks every semester is crazy and very expensive. Anyone second-year student could tell you that purchasing your books brand new is twice as expensive as renting or buying used.
Make the most of your student discounts
Take advantage of all the different ways to grab a student discount, but be careful not to spend money on things you would not otherwise have purchased. You don’t save money when you buy a $50 plastic tree for half off. You don’t need a plastic tree in the first place.
Work hard and graduate faster
The best way to save a large chunk of money, in the long run, is to be a good student. Work hard, and graduate on a strict 4-year plan. Don’t drop or fail your classes, so you don’t have to pay to retake them.
Leave your car at home with the parents
Leave your car out of the mix. Sustaining a vehicle is expensive, and paying for parking on or off campus is horrendous. Take the bus instead. Most college id’s are a ticket to free public transportation. Buy a bike, and combat the freshman 15. Paying to drive and sustain a car is far more expensive than “hoofin’ it.”
Take full advantage of campus resources
When the student center has free food available for some sort of demonstration or display, take full advantage of the yumminess. Pay attention to campus events. They always have cool stuff for the free.