While college is (and should be) a major learning experience itâ€™s also the time where you learn how to pinch pennies, get creative, and manage your money.
If youâ€™re struggling to keep your college budget in check here are five ways to save.
Buy Used Books (And Sell Them When Youâ€™re Done)
The cost of college textbooks is absolutely insane. Itâ€™s enough to break any budget. Luckily, there are ways you can save on text books – like buying used and using digital copies.
I prefer buying used. You can check places like Amazon, eBay, and even your universityâ€™s book store for used copies. Make sure to keep those books in good shape and resell them when youâ€™re done.
Youâ€™ll walk away recouping the majority of your money back.
Pick the Right Cell Phone Plan
Cell phone plans can be the arch nemesis of anyoneâ€™s budget not just college students.
But since you are away at college youâ€™re most likely going to need a phone especially since you can set up reminders, take notes, and create to-do lists just by downloading a couple of apps.
In order to get the most bang for your buck look into pay as you go phones as well as contract phones. In my opinion the price and features of Republic Wireless makes it one of the best cell phone plans for college students.
Get Creative with Your Food Budget
Food is obviously another thing you canâ€™t live without but is also an area that can wreak havoc on your budget (and if youâ€™re not careful your health too!)
Set up a weekly food budget and then get creative. Stock up on easy but healthy meals and fight the urge to order pizza every night. Your food budget will go so much further when you do your shopping at an actual grocery store.
Live with Roommates
The more roommates you have the cheaper your housing will be.
While you may have no other choice than to live in the dorms your freshmen year your options are wide open after that.
Find a house close to campus that you can rent and fill it with responsible roommates. Splitting rent with two to three other people will help you drastically reduce your portion of the bill.
Donâ€™t Use Credit Cards
Itâ€™s tempting, I know, but you need to turn down those credit card offers youâ€™ve been getting.
Taking out a credit card while youâ€™re in college can help you build credit (if used right) but it can also cost you hundred or even thousands of dollars in interest.
Do yourself a favor and donâ€™t buy anything unless you have the cash saved. This is a smart way to develop good money habits right from the get go.
Living on a college studentâ€™s budget doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t have fun. In fact, creating a budget, sticking to it, and looking for creative ways to save is actually a freeing process.
Plus, youâ€™ll develop the habits you need to create financial stability far into your future.
What tips would you give college studentâ€™s looking to save?