Friday, 9 November 2018
Studying for your degree can be demanding enough without cash problems placing unnecessary stress on your college life.
Here are some real world savings tips to help you stretch your student cash even further while living the good life during your college years.
If you decide to live off campus, having a roommate and saving on rent can definitely help you stretch your cash. A two-bedroom apartment is generally not priced at twice the rent of a studio or one-bedroom apartment. This means that while you might be paying $800 for a studio, you might only be paying $1,200 for a two-bedroom. This is a savings of $200 a month, and you'll be saving half the utility costs.
A roommate can also make it possible to afford a larger, upgraded apartment. While a one-bedroom might be pricey on your own, sharing the expense can put you into a better building with amenities that will make you happy to come home, like upgraded appliances, a pool, gym, or a secured entrance. A roommate's help can also split the financial burden of furnishing your apartment on everything from dishes and silverware to the sofa.
The temptation to eat out often can be huge, especially if your meal plan offerings are unappetizing. Try stretching your dollars with some savvy home cooking. You don't have to be a master chef to whip up cheap recipes you find online. Investing in a slow cooker is a great way to eat cheap, and so is cooking in bulk and freezing your meals for the coming weeks.
Having a roommate can also help with groceries. Compare the foods you both like and take advantage of bulk food pricing to get the most out of your food budget. Many grocery stores and popular big-box stores have bulk food sections with everything from oatmeal and granola to commonly-used spices and seasonings.
There's almost always a new need for a college student, whether it's clothes, toiletries, small appliances, or books, and paying full retail prices can put a serious cramp in your cash. Learn to be a smart shopper and look for ways to cut costs on just about everything you buy.
Look for coupons and discounts when you're shopping online. Many retailers offer promo codes for first-time customers, and many brands have clearance sections online. Splitting membership to a service like Amazon Prime and Costco with a friend or a roommate can be another way to get the most out of your shopping budget.
Thrift stores can be an excellent source for cheap clothes, and lots of bargains can be had if you look through the racks. You can also save money on textbooks by shopping online and buying them used. Depending on the class, you may even get away with using an earlier edition. And yard sales are a great way to pick up alarm clocks, desk lamps, and toasters.
Establishing good spending habits—as well as practicing other strong money habits—is great way to prepare for your financial future right now. An education in financial literacy can be every bit as valuable as the education you're getting in college.
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