The recent debate about the rising level of student debt is a big cause for concern. Between the cost of tuition and other living related expenses, college will leave you with huge debts that will take you a long time to clear. Most parents are even preferring community college over universities as they also offer quality education, but at a significantly lower cost. If you are already in college or about to enroll, here are some tips you can use to avoid falling even deeper into debt.
1. Choose your company wisely
Different people come from different backgrounds so while you may be trying to save on costs, others may not have such a problem as they are well funded back home. Peer pressure is especially high in college and you may find it hard to resist the temptation to accompany them to their fun activities that you may not have the budget for. Do not be afraid to opt out of a night out in an attempt to please your friends. Instead you can take this time to study to avoid extra cost that may arise if you have to retake a class you failed as it can cost you thousands dollars retaking the unit.
2. Carry large bills
This is a trick I have learned over time, the bigger the bill, the less likely I am to break it to purchase meaningless items. When you have change/small bill in your pocket all the time you will always find yourself buying stuff you do not need like snacks, but it will be much harder to do this with large bills as it will be too much of a hassle. Additionally, it will eliminate the urge to tip everyone for every service you receive. “Also remember to collect your change and store it safely (probably in a jar). It may come in handy someday as it keeps adding up” explains James Thorne, a Financial writer at Stateofwriting and Ukwritings.
3. Keep your things safe
In addition to ensuring that your room is properly locked and your things are properly kept, making sure that you do not leave your valuables lying around will save you a lot. Not everyone is kind enough to return your things, unfortunately some will just take them to make extra cash. The cost of replacing your tech gadgets may be a great expense. Not to mention the content, say in your laptop, may be lost forever.
4. Limit your alcohol intake
Partying is as much part of collage as studying and it mostly comes at an extra cost. If you are trying to cut back on costs, attending every party is not a wise choice! Choose you parties wisely and if you absolutely have to go, party on a budget. Speaking of beverages, always carry a water bottle and this way you don have to buy overpriced bottled water all the time especially on hot days. Whenever possible eat at the cafeteria to avoid eating out, thus adding to your costs.
5. You do not have to always get the latest gadgets
Companies are always innovating and marketing these new products as a must have to replace the previous model. While your friends may be flocking to get the new iPhone, MacBook, designer dress, or Air Jordans, always remind yourself that the model you have is also functional and you do not need any kind of validation by purchasing these new items. You can be stylish but sill be on a budget by being innovative.
6. Be wise with the courses you take
You can “test out” of some courses you are sure you know instead of having to take the entire course and spending so much money. If you took a class at a community college you can also ask about transferring it in to save on time and cost of having to do it again. You can even enroll in a community college for evening classes or over the summer and take less expensive similar courses that you can later transfer in.
7. You do not have to purchase new textbooks
While it may be tempting, desist from this habit as it will drain you of your resources quicker than you think. Instead, borrow from a friend, buy used books online or even rent books for the semester and return them when you are done. Companies like Amazon sell used books, Chegg or Barnes and Noble rent books while iflipd offers digital books.
8. Get involved in the activities around you
You can achieve this by joining a club or registering for activities around campus to keep you occupied in you free time. Being idle will lead you to seeking out events that will only end up increasing to your costs.
9. Do not stick to brands
Whether you are buying clothes, electronics or even food, the well-known brand always comes at an extra price. Do your research to discover brands that are of good quality but do not cost as much. “Remember it is not about luxury but how functional/useful the item is”, says Gayle Guerra, a College Adviser at Boomessays and Essayroo.
College life can be very expensive! In addition to these tips, always check for a student discounts when making your purchases. Be controlled in you spending and know your limits to avoid over spending.
About the Author: Freddie Tubbs is a business writer and editor at Academized. He regularly takes part in online communications and marketing conferences, and contributes articles for Australian help and Paper fellows blogs.