Movies place a glossy film on the realities of going to college.
You will not juggle activities the way you used to in high school and this is a fact that many of us will learn the hard way.
Good news is that the sappy advice "Everything get's better with time" is right. Junior year, while still intimidating, doesn't have the same effect it once did.
As I tackled new experiences I realized that I was spending money faster than I received it. I was on a slippery slope and the only way to get off was to increase my money intelligence.
In preparation for a new school year I want to share 15 simple and clever lessons on making the money you have last longer.
Research the cost of tuition.
A private college like NYU can cost around 27k for a 15 credit semester. If you want to go to Graduate school, it is recommended that you choose a college that offers a cheaper Undergraduate degree.
We can debate over debt later but one thing is always true, the less you owe the better.
Avoid living on campus
Not only will you have to pay a massive amount for residency but you will also have to watch out for tuition.
By living at home you aren't as responsible for bills and you can focus on your studies.
Still want to move out? Check out the next tip.
Live within your means
Do not buy an apartment that you can not afford.
Use your search engine and find places with affordable rent. You're in college to gain access to better opportunities and your first apartment does not have to be your last.
Apply for financial aid
Growing up I didn't have a plan for college besides the fact that I was going.
This money not only covered an entire academic year but it allowed me to receive a refund check and advance for my books. Can't go wrong with free money!
Apply for scholarships
My high school gave me money for ranking #2 in my graduating class.
You can also check out any Honor Programs that are offered and apply for scholarships!
All money goes toward tuition and anything left over is deposited into your bank account or mailed out as a check. The remaining balance can help with household supplies, transportation , or can simply be saved.
Save your refund check
Don't get discouraged by what you are able to put away. It'll multiply in no time especially if you do not have to buy all of your textbooks.
Do not purchase your books ahead of time
If the syllabus doesn't directly state to “buy the book before classes begin” do not do it.
A lot of college professors do not require you to purchase books and some even print the text for you. Your library may also allow you to either check out the text or scan it.
With the Fall 2020 semester being remote a lot of libraries including mine are offering digital access to books.
Plan out your transportation
While living in the city, nothing is more annoying than realizing your weekend adventure used the last of your bus fare.
If you know you're going to take the bus 5 days a week make sure your card has enough money. For those who drive make sure your tank has enough gas.
This can stop you from using ride services like Uber and Lyft.
Make coffee at home (and breakfast too)
Even if you skip the bacon egg and cheese chances are after an all-nighter you'll need coffee. By making the caffeinated beverage at home you'll be energized and not tempted to buy it
Look into a food pass
My college does not charge tax if you pay for cafeteria food with your meal pass.
There will be times where you can't pack lunch and may have to buy from campus. On these days you can still manage to spend smartly.
Avoid the bookstore
If it's not for snacks [even though you can bring your own from home] don't go.
Invest in ink
Buying an XL ink cartridge will be cheaper in the long run than multiple smaller ones. Printing is inevitable when E-Books aren't your cup of tea.
Look for subscriptions.
Did you know that you can purchase an HP ink subscription? They charge you a small monthly fee but monitor your ink levels. This works best for heavy ink users but you're able to choose a subscription based on your usage.
Reuse your notebooks
You can either rip out the used pages and store them in a binder or simply continue writing in the book.
Skip a page or mark up the last used area so that you can differentiate courses. Now you're not only saving money but trees too!
Don't buy from vending machines
They'll charge you $2 for a 50cent bag of cookies.
Just run the other way.
Bonus Tip - Join a family plan
Spend less on your monthly bill by sharing a phone plan. A lot of phones will offer better internet connection, speed etc. with the price of your monthly plan.
Keep the cellular service you have instead of downgrading. When submitting homework on the go you need to summon the best of the best mobile data.
In summary, to survive college, whether you pay tuition or are simply trying to save for a rainy day, it's about being proactive.
Impulsive spending can be a thing of the past as long as we implement better habits. If you want to keep up with the latest tips and tricks you only have to do two things!
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