College can be an extremely busy time when you are focused completely on just trying to keep your head above water and take care of passing all of your classes. Since you don’t have time to work full time and make a full salary while focusing on all of your credits, it is important to try to keep your expenses low.
The last thing you want to do is get out of school only to find yourself in loads of debt and spend your first 5 years of paychecks on paying off those debts. Instead, live modestly and remember that this is a time of focusing on your studies, not living lavishly. Here are some of the best tips for keeping your expenses low.
Don’t Go Crazy On Your Credit Cards
Your credit cards aren’t magic squares that you should use to get whatever you want at whatever time you want it. They are tools which should be used for emergencies or for establishing your credit score in order to build a solid financial future for yourself and be able to do things like buy cars and property.
Instead of running your credit card bills high, try to live with only what you have. This means spending only the money that you have instead of the invisible money provided with a credit card which only adds instant gratification and a whole lot of interest.
Live With Family If You Can
Try to stay with your parents and live rent free if you can. This way you can eliminate the biggest expense of all: rent! Just make sure that all of you feel comfortable with this situation and it will be a good living space for all of you.
If it is a place where you don’t think you will be able to get your homework done or be able to get proper sleep for your classes the next day, then you may want to re-think a better place even if it costs a little bit of money.
Cook At Home
Eating out in restaurants starts to add up quickly. Eliminate this expense altogether and cook at home when you can. If culinary skills just aren’t your thing, try buying frozen prepared foods from places like Trader Joe’s.
Often these places have frozen vegetables or re-heatable items which aren’t processed or full of terrible ingredients.
Create a Budget
The most effective way to keep your finances in check is to create a guideline for yourself which creates boundaries for your spending habits. This means giving yourself a specific amount of money for your bills and expenses as well as leisurely expenses like self-care or clothing.