As college education costs are increasingly higher than they used to be, college students should get to know something about budget, especially for college freshmen, because it is the first time for most of them to leave home without financial monitoring of their parents. Here we offer some useful budgeting tips for you to follow in this respect.
1. Go for used teaching materials.
It is widely accepted that one of the biggest thing costs you in college is the textbooks and related teaching materials. In college bookstores, you could usually buy used ones, which could save you up to 50 percent off the cost of a new textbook. What might annoy you are the highlighting and written-in notes from previous students. Apart from buying used textbooks in saving money, you could also do more when you want to adhere to a budget, such as other used items including clothes, a bike or computer. You may find selling of such things from the bulletin boards around campus.
2. Try to create a new budget every semester.
As your cost in tuition, fees and other expenses is increasingly higher during your stay at a college, you should create a new budget every semester because of your changing employment status when you receive your education. You could get the necessary information from college’s financial aid office in regard to any hikes in charges ahead of time. Therefore, you should have a clear mind of everything you spend and you should decide to buy something only if after a week-long consideration. Even in this case, just use cash or the money in your checking and savings account if possible.
3. Select reward cards if you need.
It is well-known that credit card companies and other lenders are somehow aggressive if you want to use their service. As a college freshman, you need to consider establishing your credit rating for the future when you start with use of your credit. So you should be careful about it, you had better go for the credit with the lowest overall interest rate. At the same time, you should also look for a card which offers some kind of rewards like cash back. If you decide to go to a college out of state, you should choose a card with airline miles for possible rewards.
4. Purchase off- season commodities.
Generally speaking, the most expensive time to purchase anything is when you need it right now. Therefore, you should buy your necessities at the end of a season when stores often reduce their selling prices. Luckily enough, you could get something at the discount of 25 percent. For example, you had better purchase a new winter coat in March or April, or buy a new college T-shirts in September or October, which would save you some money at the off-season price.
5. Be mindful of your meal plans.
Usually your scholarships or other financial aid would cover your meal plan completely or at least partly. In this case, you should not waste the meals you have. Try to dine at campus’s canteens so as to avoid choosing items such as tofu or seaweed for homemade sushi which are not available at the dining hall in order to save money. If you have to dine out, you should consider splitting the bill with your roommates or friends.
6. Give up using a car.
It is unnecessary to own a car, because actually every campus offers an available bus system. If you have to walk a long distance between your classroom and dorm, the wise choice is to use a bike instead. In this way, you could save hundreds of dollars regarding the cost for insurance and registration costs as well as gas.
Image source: US News