By Linda Anderson
College is an incredible and magical place where you uncover treasure trove of knowledge and life lessons. It is your stepping stone to adulthood. But often students in college end up spending way too much, which can plunge them into utter poverty at the end of the month. Here are some frugal hacks which can help you breeze through college without begging from your parents.
Budget and lists
It is important to make a budget, charting out your month’s income and allotted expense for everything, including partying, splurging, drinking etc. This will help you be on top of your finances. You know how much money you can spend on any particular thing, as well as formulate some plan to make up for any accidental additional expenses that you may have incurred. When you go for shopping, make a list of things to buy so that you do purchase everything you need to, on one single shopping trip. Often people end up buying unnecessary stuff simply because they saw it at the store and more shopping trips increase the chances of spending more money.
Get second hand text books
Text books are usually extremely pricey which burns a huge hole in the pockets of students. When you have already spent quite an amount on admission, moving etc., buying new textbooks can be a financial burden, especially when you would probably not need them after the semester. So, instead of buying, borrow and scan to create an e copy which you can read on your laptop. It would be great if you can buy old books off your seniors which will cost you around half of the money you would have had to spend otherwise.
Find student discounts
Did you know that your student id card doubles as a discount card in a number of stores and even in transport? There are plenty of stores around the country, especially in popular college towns, which offer excellent student discounts on essential items. You can also avail lucrative discounts on transport. Buses like Greyhound etc. will let you travel for much cheaper if you can produce your student id. Therefore, it is a good idea to carry your it around. You can also save up on transport by cycling to places instead of driving.
Use open source instead of Windows
Instead of buying software and operating system, you can easily avail high quality open source software and OS for free. They will have the same functionality as your paid Windows versions but they come without burning a hole in your pocket. You can easily use such software to write your papers, create presentations and do all your work. They also come with updates from time to time which will help you avail cool new features, and that too at no cost at all.
Look out for coupons
It is a wise idea to schedule your shopping around the ties of sale, which will help you buy everything you need at a cheaper price. But sales do come only a few times so you will have to buy otherwise as well. Every time you shop something, you can save bits by looking out for coupons and discount codes. Before you go shopping, online or at a local store, check out for discount coupon codes at companies like Nitro Coupons which will help you buy everything you need at a cheaper price.
If you spend carefully, you will not end up adding more debts to your student loan. Therefore, will be less debt to pay back once you have a job. This will also help your credit score.
Linda Anderson is a writer and musician residing in Boise, ID in the United States, although I spent a small amount of time (about three years) living in the UK growing up, due to my father’s occupation. I graduated from the College of Idaho with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and a focus in marketing in 2014.