Learning how to manage money is one of the many challenges that students face when they go off to college. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to stretch a budget. Below are some tips for stretching a budget while you are in college:
Stop Eating Out
Fast food is relatively inexpensive, but if you eat it every day, then the costs will add up over time. That is why you should limit the number of times that you eat out per week. If you live on campus, then you should eat meals in the cafeteria as often as you can. You should shop and cook your meals at home if you live off campus.
Buy Used Books
You can very easily spend over $500 a semester on books. That is why you should opt to buy used books instead of new ones. Generally speaking, used books cost at least 25 percent less than new books. Additionally, it is wise to attend all of your classes before you purchase your books.
Choose Your Entertainment Wisely
Entertainment is another major expense for college students. Watching movies at home instead of going to the theater is one way that you can save money. You should also attend some of the events on campus. Most colleges have free events for students every week.
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Use Your Credit Card Wisely
A credit card can come in handy if you need to buy something right away but do not have the cash. It can also help you build your credit. However, you need to make sure that you use your credit card wisely. You should avoid the temptation of swiping your card every time that you make a purchase. You should also avoid charging more than you can afford.
Consider Getting a Part-Time Job
Your studies should be your primary focus when you are in college. However, you can potentially benefit from getting a part-time job. It will be much easier for you to stretch your budget if you are getting a paycheck every week. Furthermore, if you work while you are in college, then your chance of finding a job after college will be much greater.
Try to Save A Little Bit of Money Every Week
Saving money is hard, but if once you get into the habit of saving, then it will become a lot easier. Each week, you should put aside something for a rainy day. Even if you only have $5 to spare, you should save that. If you get into the habit of saving at least $10 every week, then you can save $40 every month. That might not seem like much, but if you save $10 every week for the entire school year, then you can potentially save over $360 plus interest.
Take Advantage of the Campus Amenities
College is expensive, which is why you should take advantage of all the campus amenities. If you love to exercise, then you should use the gym on campus. You should also use the campus Wi-Fi instead of paying for Internet service if you live off campus. Additionally, if your school provides bus transportation, then you should use that instead of driving or paying a friend gas money.