Cutting Back on College Expenses
Have you ever tried to figure out just how much college would cost you? If you have not, you may be surprised at the numbers that are revealed to you. College is much more expensive than you think, and it can take a lot of funding to make it at a top university.
There are some ways that you can cut back to help you save for your college expenses without going broke in the process. Below, we will go over some of the way you can cut back so that you can quickly make your move-in day one that is filled with happiness instead of stress about bills.
Create a Budget to Stick To
Budget. It is probably a word that you have heard and one that you may not like to hear, but you need to take it into consideration. A budget will help you put away money that you need for not only your bills, but also for your college expenses and unexpected expenses that may arise throughout your college days.
When you start to create a budget for yourself, you need to first start will all of your necessities. This means your rent, utilities, and food. If you do not include these things, you may not set aside enough money to pay your bills.
Once you have a budget in place, you should work hard to stop any frivolous spending to make sure you have enough money to save for any unexpected emergencies that may arise.
Apply for Scholarships and Federal Grants
If you have not already done so, now is the time to take a look at scholarships and federal grants. Both of these options are considered to be gift money which means that you do not have to pay any of the money back.
Scholarships are offered to all students who care to apply, and most of them are either financially need-based or academically merit-based. You are not limited to the number of scholarships you apply for which means that you can receive an unlimited amount. Scholarships can be applied directly to your tuition, books, and education-related expenses. While the federal government provides some scholarships, privately-provided scholarships can be found online for various different reasons, and they can be much more lucrative. Do you love community service? Are you looking to study criminal justice? Well there is a scholarship for you. You just need to do the hard part… apply.
Federal grants are often financial need based only and are awarded to students who show this need. All students who receive the Federal Pell Grant must be undergraduates and can only receive up to the allotted amount per academic year.
Live Off Campus or with Your Parents
You may not want to hear it, but living with your parents is a good idea. While you may have been dead set on moving out, it does cost a lot and you can save a lot of money if you simply stay at home with your parents. If your parents do not charge you any rent to live there or if you only have to contribute a small amount to the bills, you can save the rest while you are in school and this will allow you to save up and set yourself up financially.
If you do want to move out or do not have the option to live with your parents, then you may want to think about living off campus and with roommates. You can share an apartment with a couple of other students for cheaper than the monthly payment for a dorm.
Don’t Pay Full Price for Textbooks
Textbooks are one of the most expensive college-related items and if you purchase them brand new at the bookstore, you can pay over $1,000 per semester. Yikes! There are a couple of alternatives to consider that will allow you to save as much money as possible. First, you can rent your textbooks from the school bookstore. While you still have to pay for these books, it is not near as much to rent them as it is to purchase them. Secondly, you can purchase used textbooks. This can save you hundreds of dollars per semester. Remember, new books are nice, but are not necessary. Lastly, you can purchase the books online and save most of your money.
Use Your Student Discounts
Lastly, make sure that you use your student discounts when you do venture outside of your college dorm or parent’s house. Many companies and venues will provide you with a small student discount if you furnish your student ID to them. For instance, if you head to the movies, you may receive $1 off your ticket or save 10 percent simply by letting them know that you are a student.
College expenses can cause you a lot of stress, especially if you are not prepared for them. It is important that you try to prepare for them as best as you can and save up as much money as possible before the start of the semester.
On a final note, always apply for free money before you hit the accept button on the student loans that you were offered.