The student life can be expensive. Everything from textbooks to tuition can put a big dent in your savings. Read these simple tips to see how you can save money this year:
Make a Budget
Living without a budget is going to encourage you to spend well beyond your means. A budget will show you exactly how much money you have and what you need to spend it on so that you can keep your finances in check and your bank account balances in the black.
Download one of the best budgeting apps on your smartphone. That way, you can check your budget whenever you want. You can take a quick glance when you’re grocery shopping, clothes shopping or standing in line for a coffee.
Automate Bill Payments
Do you have trouble keeping up with bill payments? Then you should automate them. Your funds will come directly out of your bank account and go directly toward your bills. You don’t have to worry about missing a due date again. With this simple change, you canstop racking up late fees every month and save your money.
Make a Rainy Day Fund
You should set aside some savings to help you handle small emergencies, like smartphone repairs or urgent trips to the dentist. Otherwise, the expense could throw a wrench into your budget for the month or longer.
How can you build your fund? Dedicate a small portion of your budget to this goal. Take the savings and move them into a separate account — or use paper bills and stash it in a safe place at home. Over the months, you’ll build up a good safety net for yourself.
If an emergency happens, and you don’t have enough in your rainy day fund just yet, there are other backup plans that you can turn to. You can put the expense on your credit card, or you can apply for a personal line of credit — see how you borrow money online to help you cover unexpected expenses. Be careful with these credit options. Only turn to them when it’s absolutely necessary.
Fill Out FAFSA
Tuition will be your biggest financial concern in your college years. And if you’re taking out student loans, your tuition will be a concern for years in the future. One thing you can do to lighten the load is fill out the Free Application For Federal Student Aid(FAFSA) to see what type of financial aid you qualify for — this includes scholarships, grants and loans. You can do this every school year.
Buy Used Textbooks
If you’re looking at the textbooks listed on your syllabus and cringing at their prices, you have a few options to save money. You can look for used copies of these textbooks. Gently used copies will be a fraction of the original price.
You can look to see whether there are eBooks or PDF copies of your textbook online. These will have lower prices than your standard hardcover. Sometimes, you can download these digital copies for free. For instance, students studying literature can go to an online resource like Project Gutenberg and download free eBooks from Oscar Wilde, Mary Shelley, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and more.
And, as always, you can take out books from the campus library!
School is stressful enough without having to worry about money. By cutting down your costs, you can make the student life just a little easier for yourself.