Pinching Pennies: 4 College Essentials that Come First When Money Is Tight

college essentials

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  • Money can get tight when you’re pursuing your education.

    If you don’t live at home, you need to cover all your living expenses yourself, and paying for tuition certainly isn’t cheap, either.

    To add to those financial difficulties, your schedule may not allow you to work full-time, which means you’ll need to make due with a fixed income.

    While this all makes it very important that you budget properly and avoid overspending, you should never cut back on these four college essentials.

    School Supplies

    You have two basic priorities when you’re attending college—keeping yourself healthy and doing well in school. To succeed at the latter, you’ll need to save money for school supplies. These include the supplies you use for all your classes, such as your laptop, and the supplies you only need for individual courses, such as books.

    If you’ve done any textbook shopping yet, you’ll know that those alone can cost hundreds of dollars, although you can score some deals if you buy used. You don’t want to handicap yourself in school by not having the books or other supplies you need to do well, which is why you should skimp on your school supplies.

    Health Products

    This goes back to those two priorities mentioned earlier, specifically the one about keeping yourself healthy. It’s obviously important to be healthy for your own happiness, but getting sick could also have a negative effect on your studies. You may need to skip a few classes when you get sick, leading to you falling behind, and it’s tough to do your best work when you’re under the weather.

    To ensure you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need every day, it’s a good idea to take health supplements. Regular vitamins can be good, but for specialty supplements, you may want to look at reviews (like this Xyngular review). You’ll be less likely to get sick and you’ll feel better overall.

    Your Transportation

    Unless your entire course load consists of online classes, it’s important that you’re able to get to school, which means reliable transportation is a must. A car is usually the most convenient option, and if you go that route, make sure you have enough money for gas, insurance and parking.

    You should also try to save a little money when you can to cover any maintenance it ends up needing. A less expensive option is sticking with public transportation. It may take longer than driving, but you can use that extra time to study, and you’ll save quite a bit of money.

    Nutritious Meals

    You’ve probably heard of the “freshman 15,” the catchy term for the 15 pounds many students gain their freshman year. When you’re away from home, it can be easy to slip into poor eating habits, such as not sticking to a meal schedule or eating lots of junk food.

    Poor eating habits can affect your schoolwork, though, as a lack of the proper nutrients could leave you feeling lethargic. And another problem is that once you’ve developed those poor eating habits, it’s more difficult to follow a healthy eating plan as you get older. Even if nutritious foods cost a bit more, make sure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet.

    Depending on the school you’re going to and the amount of financial aid you’re receiving, your college experience could involve some serious budgeting. When you do that, it’s crucial that you know which expenses you should make a priority and which you can safely cut.

    The four college essentials listed above are all things that are worth the money, because cutting back on any of them could have a significant negative impact on your time in college.

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