With the general economic downturn and the rising costs of higher education, finding extra dollars for college has become no easy task. If you’re the type of student who heads up the local National Honor Society and spends the weekend feeding homeless, you might have a free ride coming your way. However, if you are more dedicated to Xbox and ice cream sandwiches, finding ways to cover your costs might be more difficult. Consider using these five tips to save yourself a few extra dollars for late night pizza purchases when you get to the school of your dreams.
Know Your Loan
Would you ever sign something you didn’t read if it decided how much money you would have to hand over to someone else each month for the medium-term? Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? Simply understanding the loan process- what you will need to pay, interest variables, payment schedules, and how much of tuition the disbursement covers- can save you literally thousands. Take pride in knowing about this stuff. It determines your future.
Second Hand Book Buying
Most college textbooks are available for much cheaper online than they are in college bookstores. While some of your professors may DEMAND you get a particular edition of the book, most of them are cool and are happy to have students who are willing to read the material and come to class. Most of them will also send you a syllabus in advance of the semester so you can pick up your books cheap and spend your Summer getting a head-start on your homework… or at least saving some cash.
You might want to stay with your current bank when you go to college, but sometimes you wind up moving to a small town that doesn’t have convenient locations for your branch. You also might be able to get a better deal with your bank now that you are in college. Some student accounts are set up in a way that saves you massive amounts of fees. Take advantage of anything they give you, and stay informed about your banking process.
Some of us are great in school. Others are great shoppers. It might be annoying at times, but spending your own money is a drag. Learn the art of tracking a good deal. Keep your eyes open for free public events so you don’t have to drop hard-earned cash on Keisha tickets every time you want to unwind. Buy in bulk. Pitch in with others on large, shareable purchases. Becoming a better shopper pays real money.
Think Needs Then Wants
So now you have a little cash because you are crafty, intelligent, money-savvy future college student who takes good advice from smart experts who know the college admissions process. DON’T BLOW YOUR NEWFOUND DOUGH! I know you’ve had your eye on that new app that informs you of Apple products the second they come out… but first things first. In college, you will need to eat. You will want to brush your teeth, wash your armpits and sleep on sheets. You probably also want to have explore your new environment, which will inevitably take cash. Unless you want to be the smelly, bad-breathed loner who never leaves the dorm room, or the constantly broke splurge who can’t pay rent, you might want to start by spending on the things you really need: tuition, books, towels and toilet paper. Consider pizza, concert tickets and videogames a luxury.