Written by Lisa Mottins
Saving money while in college is everyone’s dream, but it is never the easiest thing to do. But if you think about the many positive gains that come with good savings, it becomes crystal clear that you got to do everything in your power to save that extra coin. Your savings while in college can help you pay for your tuition, start a small business, and pay your student loans easier and faster.
Of course, your earnings at this stage in life are very limited, so you don’t have to worry about saving a fortune. Simply ensure that there is minimal or no wastage in your college budget and even if you end up saving a dollar in a month, it will just be fine. The key here is to monitor your expenditure carefully to ensure that you do not inflate your student loans. Here are 7 actionable tips that you can use to save money while in college.
1. Utilize student discounts
For as long as you have your student ID with you, you will be eligible for discounts on literally everything you need. There are many clothing and tech brands out there that offer students reduced prices for their products. So, the next time you are shopping for clothes or a laptop, ensure that you check out the brands that offer student discounts. Money off on meals is also available to students in some food joints. Check those ones out as well.
2. Find a part-time job
Earning is a proven way of saving. Working while in college is daunting, no doubt about that, but it is important if you wish to cut on your student loans. The little extra money you will make will go a long way in offsetting your small bills. Also, working on a part-time basis means that instead of spending your free time spending, you actually spend it earning.
As you work, it should never be lost to you that you are primarily in college to earn your degree, not to work. That understanding will help you avoid the stress that comes with part-time jobs. It is also advisable to hire the services of a life coach in case you feel overwhelmed by your workload. That will help you handle stress in college well.
3. Make the library your friend
The library on your campus is free and it has everything you need for your studies. The books, software, videos, computers, and other free tools you get from the library is enough to help you study and graduate without having to buy your own tools. Note that some textbooks cost up to $200. Now imagine how much you can save by making the library your friend.
4. Leverage online saving accounts
While in college, you are in a constant temptation to spend your little money. That’s why you should save it in an account that is hard to access. Online savings accounts are great in this regard. And if you have a part-time job that helps you sort your basic needs, investing your money in stock or real estate would be a great idea.
5. Utilize campus amenities
Instead of renting an expensive apartment off-campus, why not live in the on-campus dorms? Better still; why not find a roommate with whom you can split the accommodation costs? Also, if there are any free fitness classes or entertainments on campus, it would be better if you went for those rather than spending money on premium entertainment options off-campus.
6. Find scholarships and grants
Scholarships and grants are available to students every year. Even if you didn’t apply for them in your first year of college, go ahead and do it now. You could be lucky and save a few dollars in school fees. These financing options are a near guarantee for foreign students so, if you are one, make sure you check out your available options. If you are planning to join an overseas college, apply for a student visa and then use it to source for scholarships and grants.
7. Print on campus
Printing is very costly especially due to the hiking prices of paper and ink. Don’t print at home. Do it for free on campus.
In everything you do, always ensure that you stay focused on your core duties as a student. Study hard and complete your degree in a good time. Remember that neglecting your studies will necessitate additional semesters, which will mean additional expenses.
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