When you become a college student it is important to cut back on expenses wherever possible. Not only should you look for the best tuition rate, but when it comes to moving into student housing there are many ways to reduce everyday living costs. Let’s take a look at some budgeting tips both before you leave your parents’ house as well as on campus.
Before You Walk In The Door
Regardless of whether you are sharing living quarters with another student, there are going to be some up-front costs involved when you walk into your temporary home for the first time. There is no need to buy new furniture. Bring some furniture from your old bedroom or buy secondhand furniture from those moving out. Purchase school supplies such as paper, pens, and notebooks at local discount dollar stores. However, don’t skimp on electronics such as graphing calculators and computers unless they are in good condition. While the convenience of a car that you can drive anywhere is nice, the upkeep of the car including insurance and maintenance can add up over time. Look into local public transit, many of which have student discounts, or buy yourself a reliable bicycle for getting to places that are too far to walk.
Every Day Budgeting Tips
You will be spending some amount of money every day. Whenever possible, pay with cash instead of a credit card to avoid incurring interest charges. While some credit cards allow the full balance to be paid off before interest begins, however this must be kept track of. It can distract you from school or even be forgotten if you don’t stay on top of it. Cooking your own food out of groceries bought, or delivered, from your local supermarket is less expensive than eating out every day. If we assume the average cost of a meal is $10 and then multiply that by three meals each day, that is $30 each day and nearly $1000 a month. While nobody is suggesting that you stop cold turkey, if alcohol is something that you enjoy regularly then try to limit it only to special occasions. A bottle of water is much less expensive and the savings that you gain adds up over time.
Save Money On Your Bills
There are going to be expenses that only need payment once a month and here too is another opportunity to save some money. Many companies offer student discounts if you ask for it. While utilities might already be discounted for students living on campus, your cell phone provider likely offers a lower rate for the same plan that you’ve been using before starting school. Be sure to carry around your student ID card when visiting local businesses, many places that serve food or provide services have discounts posted on the wall.
Above all make sure that you prioritize your education by doing your homework and studying for exams so you don’t need to shell out more money to retake classes. Expenses can be reduced throughout whether it be when moving in, every day, or every month. A good education can be an expensive effort, however in the long run it is well worth the investment for whatever career you decide to get into.
This guest post was written by Frank Laughlin. An innovator and adventurer at heart, Frank is committed to providing unique ways of inspiring ideas, sparking creativity and encouraging problem solving. As creator of ideas2apply. Frank encourages creative thinking via the exploration of topics from multiple angles. When not generating new and unique ways to help young minds explore and grow, Frank cultivates his need for adventure through frequent visits to theme parks, sports venues, and instrumental music performances.