We’ve all been there; we want to have the best things on a rather limited budget. This is most students’ problem, and one that you’ll most likely experience as you try to get through college. With grades and student loans to worry about, being financially smart will make college easier and much more enjoyable. In this article, we have four top tips that you can apply right away.
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1. Manage Your Textbooks to Save
You don’t have to buy new textbooks every time a new semester starts. In fact, you don’t have to buy new throughout your college years at all. There are a lot of online marketplaces that specialize in used textbooks. You’ll be amazed to find that you can save more than 50% on textbooks just by buying them used.
You should also consider selling old textbooks you no longer use. Again, online marketplaces are your friends. You still have to do a little bit of picking and choosing to decide which textbooks you can sell, but there’s a lot of money to be saved here.
2. Be Smart with Printing Costs
One of the major expenses of college students is printing. There are a lot of documents to print, from syllabuses at the beginning of the semester to assignments and papers. Although it may seem cheaper to use the library’s printer or print at a Print & Copy center, owning your own printer can actually help save a lot.
You can also take active steps towards reducing your printing cost. For instance, set the print quality to draft to safe ink. You should also duplex-print documents that are less important, such as notes and outlines. Buy printer ink cartridges online and find great deals on them to save even more.
3. Shop When You Are Full
I know this next tip sounds silly, but shopping when you’re hungry will actually make you shop more. In fact, most people in their late teens and early 20s tend to be more impulsive when shopping while they’re hungry. For example, it’s easy to make impulse purchases and buy junk food when you’ve been dreaming about a burger all day.
Limit the number of times you dine out too. The small expenses really add up. That $2.95 Iced Tall Vanilla Latte you buy everyday actually costs you more than $60 a month. Be mindful of what you buy and only shop when you’re full.
4. Pay Your Bills!
I can’t stress this enough: always pay your bills on time. This includes credit card bills and other charges. You may think a $25 in late payment charge here and another $20 there is manageable, but the costs of missing payment deadlines are actually greater than that.
You will be hurting your credit score as well as racking up interest and other charges really quick. It’s best to avoid spending more than you can afford using credit cards. When you do have bills to pay, pay them on time and save a lot on these charges.
These are simple tips that are easy to apply. All you have to do is take these tips and start applying them to your college life. You’ll be surprised by how much you can actually save each month.