The cost of tuition is like an endless elevator that’s always going up. That’s why it pays to save on all your other college costs. Here’s how:
1. Compare student loans. Before you even step foot on campus, get the biggest bang for your buck by obtaining a loan that has affordable interest rates and favorable repayment options. But finding that perfect loan doesn’t have to be hard—just use our free and easy Student Loan Comparison Tool.
2. If you have a meal plan, use it. If you’re paying for a comprehensive meal plan, skip the off-campus restaurants. While delicious, neither fast food nor restaurant faire treats your wallet kindly.
3. Consider living off-campus. Fees pertaining to room and board are costly. If you want to save big, research off-campus housing or apartments opportunities nearby. Then ask around to find some roommates so you can split the rent and you’re on your way to saving hundreds.
4. Don’t drive a car. To avoid the temptation of spending cash on gas and parking tickets, leave your car at home. If you need to get around, use public transportation, school shuttles, or your feet.
5. Find a job on campus. Most college campuses have facilities such as post offices, snack bars, libraries, dining halls, art galleries, and department and administrative offices. Often, student employees compose a large part of the campus workforce. The best part? Getting work means getting paid.
6. Stick to your budget. There’s nothing wrong with going off-campus to enjoy a movie or a night out, but remember that moderation is key. Keep track of your spending money and self-enforce a monthly limit.
7. Use the library. The school library houses tons of free resources: books, movies, music, online databases, internet, study space, etc. Why buy a book, rent a movie, or pay for your own internet connection (or expensive cell phone data plan) when it’s available for free?
8. Brew your own coffee. Buying even one cup of coffee per day at Starbucks or even at a café on campus packs a financial punch that’s hard to recover from. You could easily be spending $100 a month without even knowing it. To save, invest in a coffee pot and brew your own.
9. Use student discounts. If you need to spend money on getting a haircut, or if you want to visit an off-campus resource (e.g. a museum), then show your student I.D. You might just score a discount.
10. Plan your week. Small expenses add up, so plan accordingly. For example, wait until you have a full load of dirty laundry before you feed the washing machine your quarters. Remember: every penny counts.