Saving money & college life – that almost seems like an oxymoron! While it might seem impossible to save money in college – it’s totally doable provided you have the right tricks up your sleeve. For most undergrad students, college life is the first time having to budget and manage your money on your own. It might seem like you’re forever struggling to make ends meet, without asking your parents for more pocket money.
Well, you can save money, while still having maximum fun! Let’s dive in on the best ways to save money in college.
If you already own a checking account, make sure to check out the fees involved. The numbers might shock you. Many banks waive these fees for students, so it’s a good idea to check with your bank if they have this option. If not, you can always open a free checking account. Banks like Chime offer a free checking account for college students and it comes with a handy mobile app that you can use to monitor your transactions.
Working while in college is part and parcel of undergrad life. It not only gives you an opportunity to make some money, but it also teaches you valuable life skills like money management, problem-solving, critical-thinking and business strategies.
If you’re struggling to manage your coursework while juggling part-time roles, you can always hire class help online. Connect with online homework helpers and ask, “Can you take my online class?” These services connect with subject experts who complete your pending essays and assignments for you, while you’re busy with your part-time roles.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is your key to getting financial aid including student loans. That’s why, you need to fill the FAFSA every single year, while you’re in college. Most students don’t fill the FAFSA assuming that they don’t stand a chance of qualifying for grants or scholarships. However, remember that by filling the FAFSA you increase your chances of qualifying for financial aid in the future.
One of the most underrated, but free academic tools is the college library. College libraries have a ton of academic resources – books, journals, periodicals, software, videos and much more. The best part – you get access to all these for free, if you’re a college student. If you’re looking to reduce your academic expenses, the library is your best friend. However, keep in mind, that the number of copies of a particular book are limited. So, it’s always a good idea to go ahead of time, visit the library at odd hours to maximize your chances of securing the right resources.
Cooking is a valuable life-skill and college is the best place to pick up this art. Even the cheapest meals cost $8-$10 if you eat outside. While that might not seem like a big deal, it does add up over time. You can enjoy several meals for the same cost if you do the cooking on your own. Get a crockpot that simplifies the time you spend cooking. You can even organize potluck dinners with your flat mates so you can enjoy a variety of food for a fraction of the price.
College is not just about graduating with a degree. It’s about learning invaluable life skills along the way. Use these tips to improve your budgeting skills, while developing your overall personality.