For many students, attending a college or university means living away from home for the first time. This new situation presents a whole new set of challenges and responsibilities, including living with roommates, learning how to stay on top of your schoolwork, and handling your money. Whether you love to splurge on technology, shoes or overly-priced coffee, these tips help to reduce unnecessary spending and save valuable dollars throughout the school year.
First and foremost, establish a budget. Determining how much money you are comfortable spending each month is the first step to success. To organize your spending, consider dividing your budget into categories such as housing, education, food and groceries, entertainment, and any others that are fitting for you. Once you have established your budget, the next step is to track your spending. Record each of your purchases to observe any patterns and ensure that you are sticking to your budget. But remember, it is always okay to adjust or update your budget as needed.
A very effective way for students to save money is to use public transportation. Although riding the bus may not be as glamorous as having your own car, it is very cost-effective. When you consider the inevitable costs that come with having a car, such as gas, insurance and maintenance fees, you will likely find that public transportation is much less expensive. Plus, it’s better for the environment!
If you’re like most students, the majority of your money goes towards textbooks, tuition, and all of the costs associated with post-secondary school. However, there are ways to reduce the some of these costs. Scholarships, awards and bursaries are available and provide many students with much-needed financial support. Further, there are several options that allow you to save money on textbooks. Purchasing used textbooks from friends, former students or a used bookstore is a great way to save money. In addition, you can sell the textbook back to the used bookstore or to another student at the end of the course. And remember, just because it is recommended that you buy the textbook for your course doesn’t always mean it is necessary, so check before you purchase it.
Despite the convenience of eating out, cooking at home can be the cheapest and healthiest option. First, designing a meal plan allows you to purchase only the foods and ingredients you need to buy. This ensures you don’t spend money on food you won’t eat. Next, buy food in bulk whenever possible to maximize the value of each purchase. Lastly, cook meals in large portions and save the leftovers for your meals throughout the week. Creating a meal plan allows you to develop your cooking skills, reduce money spent on food, and save time!
Whether you apply one or all of these tips, it can help you save some valuable dollars throughout your education.
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