Thomas Jefferson once said, “I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness”. Ironically enough, education, especially that at the college level, is one of the most expensive and elusive elements in modern day society. It thus goes without saying that students need to learn living frugally during this period of their lives. Thankfully, there are a number of resources you can resort to in order to live life in a budget while you are graduating. Here are some tips to follow.
Minimizing TextBook Costs:
Textbooks are among the most expensive of things to buy in college. The national average for the money spent by a student per semester on books and supplies is estimated to be $1100. You can however save a lot of this money if you buy books from a second-hand book store, or purchase it from your seniors in college. However, with book publishers waking up to this fact, a number of subjects now have new editions being released every year. If you think you have to purchase the new edition, check out for coupons from major retailers to save on some money. According to the Valpak blog, latest studies show that households with higher income levels of $100,000 are twice as likely to use coupons than households earning less than $35,000. So as you can see, it is a pretty smart thing to save cash using coupons while buying new books.
Alternately it also makes sense to use the college library and classroom presentations to study those chapters in the new editions that are not available in the older editions. It is definitely less efficient, but should be worth it if it saves you several hundred dollars a year.
Get Things Done In Groups:
Every college student wants his/her own room. While it definitely gives you better privacy, it can also be expensive. And there is nothing wrong in finding a roommate if that save you another few hundred dollars a year. But that is not the only thing that can save money. You and your Roommates can also take turns with driving the others to college – saving on fuel saves you a lot of money and carpooling is definitely a great way to save cash in college – perhaps only second to using public transport.
Another area where you can save money is in entertainment – Minimize the number of times you watch movies in a theater and instead use services like Netflix to watch movie with friends. In a movie theater, you pay for every person watching whereas with services like Netflix, you can divide the money you spend among everyone watching the movie with you. Considering that young people cannot live without watching the newest movies, it is a smart thing to cosciously work on ways to reduce your expenses in this segment without compromising on your lifestyle.
Cook Your Own Food:
Here is something tricky – a lot of students try to save money by staying in studio apartments or rooms with no kitchens. Yes, these are definitely cheaper than bigger houses with kitchens. However, by having your own kitchen, you can save a lot of money that is spent on eating out. So strike a balance between finding a dorm that is big enough to have your own kitchen while ensuring the extra money spent on rent is still lower than the money you can save by cooking your own food.
One of the most important ways to save money is by avoiding anything that comes with a subscription fee. This includes things like newspapers, cable TV and gym memberships. If you are someone trying to save cash, only pay money when you want to use something. If you can make do with online newspapers, do not subscribe to the print edition. If you are some who hits the gym to use the traeadmill or lift light weights, try to replace them with early morning jogging in your neighborhood, or buying your own set of dumbbells. They definitely work out cheaper than paying a monthly subscription for something that you don’t make use of the fullest.
Following these techniques can definitely save you a few hundred dollars every year. Do you have any other tips to offer? Tell us in the comments.