College may be the first time you have experienced financial independence.
This brings with it a lot of new responsibilities, and if you don’t take your finances seriously, you could end up with more debt than you anticipated.
Don’t panic. Managing your finances doesn’t have to feel like an impossible task. There are many ways you can make positive, helpful changes!
Here are ten ways you can save money at college.
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1. Never Do Your Grocery Shopping on an Empty Stomach
Shop with your eyes, not with your stomach, and save your bank account a real hit! Instead of impulsively adding cookies, candy, and frozen foods to your cart, make a list ahead of time and stick to it. This prevents you from buying items you don’t need and sticking to a routine.
2. Resist Eating Out or Getting Delivery Too Often
Speaking of food, try cooking the stuff you’ve already bought more often. We get it, you deserve a treat after finishing your thousandth assignment, but too much take out is really going to eat into your funds.
3. Use External Resources for Help
From scholarships to financial management plans, there are numerous resources available to college students to help them save money.
There is a ton of information about scholarships to be found at MTM. Consider joining a Facebook or Reddit group for college networking and ask about scholarship opportunities on your campus. You may hear about a program you wouldn’t have otherwise.
4. Sell the Textbooks You No Longer Need
You’ve finally said goodbye to that class you needed to buy fifty books for, now what? Don’t just put them back on your bookshelf – sell them! Plenty of other students will need them and you can cash in on books you might not need again.
5. Reconsider Some of Your Habits
Smoker, vaper, heavy drinker? It might be time to make some revaluations in your life. All three of these habits seriously drain your bank account and might even result in some hefty medical bills in the long-term.
6. Stay up to Date with Your Bills
No one likes paying bills, but if you leave them for too long, they will only get worse. Bills you ‘forget’ to pay will often incur a late payment surcharge. Don’t get caught out. Pay your bills as soon as you can.
7. Budget as Soon as You Get Paid
Got a job? Great! While it may be the bane of your life, being employed while a student is the best way to earn extra money.
Just make sure you put some money away as soon as you get your wage packet. Remove the temptation to spend it all on stuff you don’t need!
8. If Possible, Walk or Use Public Transport
Cars are convenient, everyone knows this, but they can also be highly expensive to run.
If possible, consider taking the more scenic route to campus. You get some extra exercise and can save a lot of money in the long-term. It’s a win-win.
9. Make the Most of Student Discounts
Student discounts exist for a reason and they’re only available for a limited amount of time. Make the most of them!
A quick Google should show you where your student discounts are applicable or ask campus support for further details. You’d be surprised how much you could save.
10. Don’t Buy School Supplies You Don’t Need
And finally, don’t splurge on school supplies you don’t actually need. The start of a new semester can be super exciting, but you don’t need seventeen separate notebooks for your classes. You also don’t need an array of colored pens. Buy what you need and save money on the rest!
Financial struggles are stressful and distracting at college. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support when you need it. It isn’t a failure, and it isn’t something to be embarrassed about.
There are resources online and on-campus to make your college experience more affordable. However, just applying these ten tips will make a difference!