A Crockpot for Christmas
Spending money eating out each week is a definite way to rack up a large bill at the end of the month. Try to eat in as much as possible. If you have several roommates go in together and split the cost of bulk items which are cheaper per unit.
You can cook chicken, beans, soups and practically anything else you dream up in a Crockpot—even a cake. And you’ll have leftovers for the entire week. Another benefit of Crockpot cooking is that it is easy. You can just leave it on all day while you go to and from class and then come home to a delicious homemade feast in the evening.
Although a shrinking percentage of students actually read them, textbooks are an imperative part of college. And buying them can sap up any funds you might have had left from tuition. But fortunately there are some great ways to navigate the system so that you spend less.
Rule #1: Always buy used. Try to avoid the campus bookstore altogether. Do a little research before class starts so that you have time to order a used copy off of Amazon. This will save you a lot. If you can pick the book up from of a friend who has already taken the class, even better.
Rule #2: Ask about the edition. While some professors will remain sticklers forcing you to purchase the brand new edition of the text, many are willing to negotiate. You may find a previous edition for a couple of dollars that has only minor page number discrepancies when compared with the brand new edition which costs hundreds of dollars.
Rule #3: If you have an eReader, use it! For students who were given a Kindle for Christmas or who asked for an iPad instead of a laptop, the possibility of e-texts is worth comparing with the print price. Although most textbooks are roughly the same price as the print version, downloading classic literature will be free or only a few dollars compared to purchasing a paperback copy.
Bank for Free
In some ways, college students are pretty lucky because they receive pity and free food wherever they go. A surprising number of banks also like starving students, offering free checking and savings accounts to currently enrolled undergraduates. This is a great way to save money on fees. Check to see if online banking is available so that you can keep track of your account and avoid overdraft costs.
Random Side Jobs
While you may not have time for a normal job, there are still lots of fun and flexible ways to earn extra cash. Tutoring is a fantastic way to cement your skills while helping other students and making some dough. Babysitting is still a great option because you can pick up work when it is available but turn it down when you are too busy. Other students who enjoy web design might create a website or blog and sell space for online ads to create some additional income. Most college students are pretty inventive, so put those creative ideas to use.
Be Cautious with Your Loans
One of the most common problems for college students is debt. Whether it is raking up student loans or buying into specially targeted credit accounts, many graduates finish school with decades’ worth of debt. Do what you can to be proactive about saving.
If you are thinking about another loan, go to your parents first and ask for their advice. When considering a short-term loan, be totally positive that you can pay it off within the contracted time-frame.
With these tips for cutting college costs, you are on your way to a great undergraduate experience while limiting the financial stress.