Between paying for tuition and covering living expenses, you may find it challenging to save up money while in college. However, by following these simple tips, you may be able to graduate from college with some cash already in your savings account:
Food is a major expense in college and throughout life. According to Asia Martin, a former staff member at Forbes, lots of universities require freshmen to purchase meal plans, which increases this expense even more. If you plan to do any of your own cooking, Martin recommends choosing one of the lowest-priced meal plans available and avoiding the costly unlimited ones.
Once you’re an upperclassman, Intuit advises preparing your own meals rather than eating out, in order to save money. They say it’s also wise to brew coffee yourself, and purchase groceries in bulk when possible. If you’re hesitant to buy in bulk because the food may expire too soon, you can freeze many foods to extend their life. If you like to bring water and a snack to class, utilize a reusable water bottle and grab snacks from your home instead of hitting up a high-priced vending machine.
Coordinate with roommates
Living with one or more roommates can be beneficial to your wallet in multiple ways, according to Lauren Schwahn, a writer at NerdWallet. You can split the cost of rent, groceries and household goods together. Intuit suggests sharing an account for different streaming services so that everyone isn’t paying for these services individually.
Intuit points out secondhand furniture is another budget-friendly option, which you may also be able to split the cost of with your roommates. If you and a roommate are in the same class, Martin advises sharing a textbook. If your roommate already took the class a semester ahead of you, you should purchase the used book from them. In addition, to save money on fuel, Intuit recommends carpooling with friends when feasible.
Search for discounts
By simply using your email address or student ID, you can get student discounts at restaurants, stores, museums, and other locations, according to Schwahn. Numerous streaming services also offer special discounts for students. Keep an eye out for any free events happening nearby since these events may have free food, T-shirts, and other perks.
Before and during your college career, apply for scholarships, which may cover some of your tuition. Be sure to complete your FAFSA form every year to find out if you’re eligible for any financial aid. If you do take out any unsubsidized student loans for college, Martin recommends paying the interest while in school so that you don’t owe as much upon graduation.
By keeping each of these tips in mind, you may be able to grow your savings in college. If you’d like additional guidance specifically geared to you and your lifestyle, be sure to speak with a financial advisor.