I’m not sure what it is about being in college in Florida, but it seems that the second you walk onto campus for the first time all of your money instantly disappears and you’re doomed to a sentence of being broke for the next four years.
After making a huge tuition check when the semester begins, then being expected to shell out another $400 for books and then trying to live life and save up money for the next semester can be quite a difficult task, especially on a work-study type salary.
Here are five great tips for college students to save money in college.
1. First, be sure to buy your textbooks online, this is always cheaper than going to the bookstore.
Chances are you will save upwards of 50% or more by getting used and international versions of textbooks over the internet compared to paying more than retail at your campus book store.
Go to sites such as BigWords and BookByte to do comparison shopping and find the cheapest price on your textbooks.
The first semester I was in college I shelled out over $400 for books, and now I average about $75 per semester by ordering online, reusing friend’s books, and sharing books with my room-mate.
2. Budget your money.
Money is a very scarce thing in college, so we have to make the most of it. Don’t just let it slip away to fast food, movies, and beer.
Use a budget to make sure that your priorities are in the right place. Be saving enough money to pay for tuition and books next semester and make your basic living expenses be on the top of the list.
3. Just go ahead and stay far away from credit cards as possible.
The average undergraduate comes out with $1,423 in credit card debt! Don’t be a part of this crowd.
Nobody wants to start our life with massive credit card debt, this is just not the way to go!
Be smart with your money and accept that if the money is not there you simply cannot afford the purchase.
Credit cards serve no purpose but to get you into debt.
4. Take all the free stuff you can get.
Anything that you get for free is something that you have to buy.
This means going to all of the free campus events for free food, mooching off your friends, anything that’s free, take it!
The bookstore often gives out samples of products they are given, so take them and make the most of them!
5. Get a job!
I know, it’s a scary thought, but you can get a job while you are in college.
It’s not too much work, there are people who work 50+ hours a week while in school to pay for tuition and life without borrowing money.
There are jobs available and you do have the time no matter what you might think.