If you are a college student, you are likely painfully aware of how much money your schooling costs. Tuition, books and student housing all contribute to keeping you on a pretty tight budget, and if you are not careful, things can get fairly tight in very short order. How can you keep money in your pocket when you are trying to get a college education?
Get Out of Student Housing
Unless you go to school in a very expensive part of the country, it will always be less expensive to live on your own than it will be to live in the dorms. Dorms not only charge you for housing, they also charge you for housekeeping and maintenance. On top of that, the meal plans are usually fairly high in terms of the amount of food you get. In many ways, you are paying for the convenience. Most schools require that you stay in student housing for at least the first year, but after that, find a place of your own and keep some of that cash in your pocket.
Jobs While Schooling
At this point, it is almost a given that you need a job while you are at college. The key is to find a job that pays well while not interfering with your schoolwork. One way to do this is to find a job on campus that is designed for students. These jobs are perfect when you know you need to shift your schedules every semester and when you need to work odd shifts. However, they are less good when it comes to making money, as the pay is usually not great. When you want to get a job while in school, consider the many jobs that you can do from home, especially if you have a steady Internet connection.
Get a Credit Card
A credit card can be a life saver when things run short. Make sure that you find a card with a relatively low interest rate. If you can, it it is worth your while to get a credit card with the same institution that gives your parents or guardians their cards. Cards designed for students can also see you through a lot of the more disastrous issues involved in college.
When you are student, you are going to be pressed for time. This makes cooking nourishing and appealing meals rather difficult The temptation is simply to grab food as you find it when you are out and about, which adds up very quickly and takes a real toll on your wallet. When you want to cook but you don’t have time, look into cooking food in batches. On your day off, make a large batch of stew and freeze portions of it. Then defrost a portion every day and bring it to school with you.
Books are always frustrating for the student on the budget. Science textbooks can cost as much as a month’s rent, and there is not much you can do when the professors demand new editions every year. One way to mitigate the cost is to always buy your books used if you can. Look for online editions, and also look for people who are selling their old textbooks online as well. In some cases, you will be able t use the copy held in reserve at the library, but remember that other people will be battling for the books as well.
Take a moment to think about how you can save money while you are at school. It is easier than you think, but you do need to be diligent about it.