Going to college, although a mind-altering experience, can also be a money-sucking trap. There are certain rules you could follow if you prefer to have a debt-free graduation. Of course, you cannot follow them all and by the book-but you can always give it a whirl!
Getting the best price on tuition fees
Most colleges offer discounts for students paying their tuition fees in advance. Make sure you get the best deal available at your chosen college.
Go Free stuff hunting
Plenty of college communities and research teams will give you meals in exchange for 15 minutes of your time (answering questionnaires, participating in psychological tests and so on). Explore these opportunities around campus and get free stuff (plus, you get to learn something about yourself too)!
Consider getting a roommate
You’ve waited your whole life for some decent amount of privacy, can’t you wait a few years more? A roommate can save you tons of money on rent and shared utilities, just think about it.
Saving on studying
Borrow, don’t buy books, or buy second-hand ones. Give a shot to sites like Ebay and Amazon they always have great deals. Getting an e-reader can also cut down book costs
Unleash your cooking creativity
Stock up on staple foods like pasta, rice, canned and frozen vegetables and meat, for rainy days. Ask your mum for her cooking recipes (preferably for those cheap and hearty ones!), she will be so pleased you want her advice!
Internet and Mobile Phones
Get a good Internet connection to minimize mobile and land line costs. Services like Skype allow you to communicate with loved ones free.
Asking for discounts
As a student you are eligible for discounted prices in numerous services and products. Even when there is no sign clearly stating such a policy, you could always ask. Where’s the harm in saving a few bucks for a dinner out? (trust me absolutely none!)
Finding entertainment alternatives
Stay at home and watch a movie, instead of going to the cinema. Hang out at friends’ places instead of coffee shops and restaurants. Regularly arrange potlucks, to save on food and get to try more than your (I-wouldn’t-call-it-edible) mac and cheese.
Part time Jobs
Working part time at college can give you valuable working experience, plus you get to make some money yourself.
Last but not least
Learn to distinguish between your needs and your desires. Your friend’s budget might allow her to buy that designer bag, but that doesn’t mean spending a week hungry to get one yourself, is a good idea.
Being a student is about exploring new territories and discovering new people. It’s not about the money you spend or the things you buy, it’s about the friends you make and the things you learn. So don’t get frustrated if you need to save, everyone has!