How To Save Money In College?
Summer vacation is winding down for almost everyone. If you’re in the South, chances are you or your kids are already back to school and ready to tackle another year. Another year of wild parties and super expensive text books, supplemented by Ramen noodle dinners when cash is tight.
College is far more expensive than elementary school, so I imagine that those of you in that season of life are more than a little financially concerned, and I totally get it. I don’t know much about saving money for the kids in college, but I do remember going to college. Sure, it was more than a decade ago and that’s a long time. However, I worked full time, I was planning my wedding, building a house and I was going to school online. Trust me, I know I can save your kids some money when they get into college, if they take my advice.
Apply for Scholarships
One thing that I did not know for a few semesters is that scholarships are not just for high school students looking to attend college for the first time. I thought I could apply for them when I was in high school and going into college and that was it. It took me a solid year after that to realize that I could still apply for scholarships no matter how old I was or at what point in my college career I was approaching.
Trust me, apply for them. And don’t forgo the small ones, either. I remember thinking I was not wasting my time applying for scholarships that were less than $1,000 because it wasn’t much money. Well, it was a book or two and it was free money I did not have to work to earn or pay back. Looking back, I’d have applied for a $50 scholarship if someone was offering me one.
Ask About Reduced Bills
If you feel that you can handle it, call your creditors and the people you buy things from – cable, cell phone, internet – and ask them for a discount. They might not give it to you right away, but you can actually find yourself in the midst of a powerful negotiation if you take a few moments to tell them that you’re a poor college student and that without a discount to lower your bills, you’re going to have to cancel. They don’t want you to cancel. They want you to actually go forth and keep paying that bill. Watch them lower your rates when you throw that one on the table.
Rent Your Books
There are about a million ways you can get textbooks these days, and renting is just one option. It is far more cost-effective than buying your books, and it’s also something that will save you money in the long run. Another option is to see if you can find someone selling the same book you need online for a lower price. Check around, ask friends to borrow theirs if they still have them and check on the used version of the book before you purchase the new one or even rent one. You needn’t pay full price for books when they are so expensive in the first place.
Cook with Friends
Instead of going out to eat, why not make an agreement to cook with your friends to save money? Get onto Pinterest and find some inexpensive meals that look delicious and healthy and everyone can be responsible for one ingredient. Switch kitchens a few nights every week and save money cooking delicious meals that can be used and turned into leftovers for everyone. If you’re all responsible for buying one or two ingredients as needed, you’ll never pay much for groceries or meal, you’ll have more appropriate servings, and you will probably just eat healthier as a whole. There is nothing wrong with that in any way, shape or form. Try it out and see how it works.
Find Free Items
Did you know that college students get discounts and free stuff? Not everywhere you go, of course, but in many places you will find discounts. You can get discount movie tickets, discounts on certain admission into museums and other fun places and you can even get free movies and even workouts if you really look around for that. Saving a few bucks a month on the gym membership you love to work out at the gym on campus where it’s free is always an option for many students.
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