By Jane Hurst
College life is great, and many young people really want to live it up and get all that they can out of the college experience. What many people don’t realize is that they are not actually getting all that they could be getting out of the experience. Sure, this is a great time to party, but it is also a time to learn, and not just about the subjects you are studying. These are the years that are going to prepare you for life in the real world. Real life is expensive, so now is the time to take advantage of learning money-saving habits now that will help you in the real world.
- Choose the Best College for Your Money – You can choose from any college, but they are not all the same. They don’t all offer the same curriculum, and they don’t offer the same tuition rates. What you need to do is sit down and figure out which college is going to give you the most bang for your buck. One school may have a course you really want to take, but if the tuition is out of this world, is it really going to be worth it to you when you are looking at many years of student loan payments?
- Look for Free Food and other Deals – As a student, it’s not like you are going to have a lot of extra spending money. You will likely be living on a tight budget, so you will need to look for ways to stretch your budget. Take advantage of free food offers, student discounts, and anything else that will help you save money. This will help you in the future, because you will be skilled at finding the best deals.
- Buy Knockoffs – If you really want to have that great audio/visual system or designer handbag, look for knockoffs that are a lot cheaper. This approach can work for items you actually need, too. Here’s an example: say you ran over a pothole, damaged your rim and need to replace it. The dealership charges an arm and a leg, so you go online and find the same replacement replica rim at a fraction of the cost. Bottom line: When you want to buy something, see if there’s a quality alternative that will save you money.
- Make Money from Old Textbooks – The textbooks you need are expensive, and chances are, after you are finished a semester, you will never open that semester’s books again. You can recoup some of the money you spend on your textbooks, and use it for books for the next semester and other things you need, or put it into savings for the future. You can choose to rent your textbooks, or sell them outright.
- Hone Your Research Skills – You may think that you are wasting your time researching subjects until the wee hours. But, not only is this going to help you get better grades, it is also helping to prepare you for the real world. For instance, there will likely come a time when you want to purchase a home. You will need to do a lot of research to make sure you get the right home at the right price, and the research skills you learn now will come into play.
- Get Roommates – It isn’t uncommon at all for college students to live together in order to save money. There is also absolutely no reason not to continue doing this once you are out of college. Sure, you don’t have complete privacy, but with all of your experience in college, you will know the little tricks you can use to be able to live comfortably with others.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!