Not having any money is certainly not fun. As a college student, you may know this reality all too well: countless nights of eating nothing but noodles, having to scrounge for change to do your laundry and never being able to take one of those wild spring break vacations. However, if you learn how to stretch your finances and budget accordingly, you could actually save enough money to be able to afford the little pleasant things in life. It is important, though, that you budget accordingly. If you don’t budget, you could be left wondering where your next meal is going to come from. It doesn’t matter if you are a freshman or a senior; it is never too late to start buckling down on your finances. Here are five important financial tips for college students.
1. Purchase Your Textbooks Used Opposed to New
Brand new textbooks can be exorbitantly expensive. You could easily spend close to a thousand dollars on a full course load full of textbooks. This is why you want to do your research before you purchase textbooks. In most cases, you will be able to find used textbooks for pennies on the dollar. If you are taking Case Western online courses, you may be able to spend even less.
2. Use Your Meal Tickets and Eat at the Cafeteria
At most colleges there is a cafeteria and students are encouraged to purchase meal tickets. At some colleges, these meal tickets may be included with your tuition. Instead of eating at expensive restaurants everyday or having to eat boring, cheap noodles on a daily basis, you may be able to eat really well in the cafeteria. Most colleges these days focus on making healthy, sustainable fare.
3. Create a Budget for Every Day Expenses
There is a good chance that you will have daily miscellaneous costs and expenses. If this is the case, you want to budget accordingly. You want to know how much is in your bank account and you want to know how much is coming in and going out at all times. This is why keeping a log is so important. The last thing you want is to be living beyond your means. If your daily expenses are too high, you want to find a way to lower them, or consider a part-time job.
4. Ask your Family to Help With Some of your Costs
If you are fortunate enough to have supportive parents with the means of offering financial assistance, you may want to ask for an allowance or a monthly subsidy. Even a few hundred dollars can go an incredibly long way at covering some of your expenses. For instance, if you need to go shopping for some new clothes, this money can go towards these essentials without having to cut back elsewhere.
5. Live at the Dorms Versus an Expensive Apartment
On top of everything, you may want to think about living at the dorms and not at an expensive apartment. Most apartments also have a security deposit, so you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars just to move in. In a dorm, you may be able to live rent-free as long as you are going to the college. In the end, this will save you a tremendous amount of money.