Finding your funds a little too tight during your time in college? Try these 5 tips for figuring out where you can cut corners and still make ends meet.
- Reduce your meal plan options. Even if you use all of the meals/money that you have, see if you can change to a lower plan. Little things, like providing your own milk and cereal for breakfast in your room, can greatly reduce this expense. (Can't change your plan this semester? Make sure you know how to choose the meal plan that's best for you when the time comes to change.)
- Cut out "treats" during the day. Are you known for always bringing a fancy cup of coffee to class? Grabbing a $5 smoothie as a snack in the afternoon? Try to cut these out of your daily life (completely, or just as a treat on Fridays, for example), and you may be surprised by how much you save. You can always make your own coffee or use a snack packed at home for an afternoon munch.
- Buy used books. Used books are often significantly cheaper than new ones. As long as you have the right editions, you should be good to go.
- Take a course online. Online courses can reduce or eliminate all kinds of expenses, from gas (if you commute to campus) to paper, ink, notebooks, and the dining hall lunch you otherwise would have bought if you had to head to a traditional classroom.
- Recycle, recycle, recycle. Have paper leftover in that notebook at the end of the semester? Use it again next term. Would your current sweatshirt last another 6 months? Then pass on the cuter one you just saw while out with friends. Does your iPod still work, even though you want a newer and bigger one? Keep it until it dies, and give your friends and parents the perfect idea for a graduation gift.