The excitement of college life can become stressful when students suddenly realize the cost of living expenses. Planning ahead, however, can easily cut those costs to avoid unnecessary financial woes.
College students have enough to worry about with the cost of tuition and finding the right time to study. There are simple ways to reduce spending and enjoy time on campus by considering the available options.
Here are seven ways to cut college living expenses and save money:
1. Live off campus — Finding an apartment can be less expensive than the cost of a dorm, The Balance points out. Search for a good apartment close to grocery stores or with easy access to school to save money. Some students might prefer living in a dorm for the first year to make friends and find roommates to share an apartment with in the following years.
Special: How to Graduate From College Without Debt
2. Textbook savings — Books can be expensive and cut into your monthly rent. But you can easily find used textbooks online or even rent them through some services. Other sources may also offer less expensive books for your particular major. Check with other students or campus organizations for people offering textbooks at reduced rates.
3. Savings accounts — Think ahead before entering college and put some money away into a savings account. This comes in handy for everyday expenses, USA Today explains. It even helps when applying for student loans because you won’t have to include living expenses, such as for food and clothing, in the loan amount.
4. Scholarships and grants — The funding a student gets from scholarships or grants provides extra money for other necessities. Check with high school guidance counselors, local organizations, or employers about free money possibilities. SALT’s scholarship search also provides valuable information.
Tip: Imagine No Student Loans… It’s Easy When You Know This Secret
5. Cut food prices — Some college cafeterias have high costs for meals. Meal plans at colleges are often optional, according to CheatSheet. Students may cut meal costs in half by using their own meal plans, or they can save a lot by preparing their own meals at home. Avoid eating at expensive restaurants.
6. Slash transportation costs — Leave your car at home and use local transportation services or bus lines if possible, saving a substantial amount in gas. This also avoids parking fees that can add up. Many college campuses are close enough to stores and activities without the use of a car.
7. Budgeting — Students can cut their living expenses by developing a budget. Many students are tempted to enjoy their time off by splurging, but a budget helps students understand how much they will need to get by each month. CheatSheet recommends a college student budget sheet.
Parents/Grandparents: Do You Know These College Financing Aid Secrets?
© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.