10 Money Saving Tips For Students
If you are a student, you need to learn about 10 Money Saving Tips for Students. College is supposed to be the time of your life, but if you don't learn money saving tips, post-graduation won;'t be as fun. Here are some easy tips for saving money while still allowing yourself to have a good time:
- Utilize Federal Loans and Grants before taking out private loans. Federal loans, such as the Stafford Loan, can save you thousands of dollars. Loans guaranteed by the Federal Government will charge you as little as 4 percent interest; depending on your income you could qualify for a "subsidized" Stafford loan which does not accrue interest while you are in school. Private banks often make you pay interest while you are in school; they also charge an average of 13 percent.
Plan your meals. College will keep you extremely busy, so to avoid unnecessary food costs, you need to plan ahead. Many students fall into a bad habit of buying fast food or eating out; but this will quickly cost you hundreds of dollars. To save money, plan your meals for the week and go to the grocery store.
- Avoid bars. Most college students turn 21 their junior year of college, but this doesn't mean you should spend all your time (or your money) at the bar. The average cocktail costs anywhere from 7 to 10 dollars and many college students report drinking more than three drinks when they go out. If you must go to the bars, go on a night when there are specials and order a cheap beer.
- Buy your textbooks used. Don't pay full price for your textbooks at your university bookstore. Search sites like Amazon or Craigslist for used books. You could also talk to your friends to organize a textbook exchange, if you have the same major.
- Ask Your Professor to reserve the class textbook. Many universities allow professors to put a copies of the class texts on reserve at the library. Students can check out the books for a limited amount of time. This way, you can save money by avoiding the cost of a book.
- Open a student bank account. It is usually free to open a student checking or savings account. You will save money in "monthly maintenance fees" that you would otherwise be charged with a regular account. If possible, open your account at a credit union.
- Walk or bike. Gas and car maintenance costs are completely avoidable. In order to save money, limit your car trips to what is absolutely necessary (e.g. driving home or grocery shopping). Bonus: You will get into shape while saving money.
Get a roommate. It isn't always fun living with other people, but if you want to save the most money, you should get a roommate. Whether you are living in a dorm or in a house, a roommate (or two) can really help you cut down on rent and utility costs.
Have a party. Weekend fun can be costly. Going out to dinner and a movie can easily turn into a 30 or 40 dollar expense. They best money saving option is to have a party. Have your friends help supply your party by bringing cups or ping pong balls. If you are 21 and you plan to have alcohol at your party, save money by charging everyone 5 dollars per cup.
- Utilize your university library. Instead of buying Internet at your house, save money by using the free Internet at your university library. You can also print for free at most universities. If you wanted to really be thrifty, you could avoid the cost of a computer by using a workstation at your library.