3 Tips to Save Money When Going Off to College

People of every age are heading to college for a degree. There are so many opportunities to pursue post-secondary education, no matter your age.

Aside from your typical University opportunities, plenty of online and adult colleges have been built up to help professionals already in the field come back for a different or higher degree. No matter what your age or reason for hitting up the school campus, school is expensive, and it will take its toll on you if you’re not careful.

If you’re one of those heading back to school, you’re probably looking for ways to cut your expenses without killing you. Luckily, there are several ways to begin saving money immediately.

Each of the following tips will help you make meaningful savings in your budget as you head back to school. Select the ones that will help you best.

Get Rid of Your Car!

The first way to save thousands of dollars a year is to sell your car. Okay, now you’re thinking we’re crazy, but the truth is, this is one of the easiest ways to save thousands of dollars every year.

With gas prices the way they are, you are going to spend thousands of dollars on gas alone this year. If you’re not making payments, insurance, and maintenance on a vehicle every year, you’re avoiding sending a lot of money down the drain.

If you have the access to public transportation and friends to help you get to and from everywhere you need to go, sell the car. If you need the car desperately, find excuses not to use it as often as possible.

Although you won’t be able to avoid the car payments or insurance, you can at least save yourself money on gas. A car is a huge expense, so be careful with how you decide to use it.

Another option is to leave your car at home, if you take your car to school you’ll usually become everybody’s chauffeur. By leaving your car at home it can also be like having an extra savings account because if you need some extra money to hold you over until your financial aid comes through you can get a short term title loan.

Put Down the Big Mac!

Second, stop eating out. For a single college student, you can choose to spend $7 on McDonald’s that will only fill you for a meal or you can put that same $7 toward sandwich supplies and feed yourself for 8 meals.

Although you may get tired of peanut butter and jelly, or ham and cheese, you’ll have the energy you need over 8 meals as opposed to just one. If you ate out three times a week normally at about $7 a plate, you would spend just under $1,100 over the course of a year.

When you replace eating out with PB & J’s, you save yourself $873.60. Now apply those same circumstances to a family.

Feeding a spouse and three kids $7 McDonald’s meals three times a week totals just under $5,500 on the year. Sandwich ingredient replacements will only cost you just under $700 for the year. Can you really argue with over $4,000 in savings?

When eating on a budget, ingredients at home will help you save money the most. It may feel like a drastic change, but it’s completely doable.

Buy Used Books Whenever Possible

Third, purchase used books as often as you can. The prices at your school’s bookstore are always overpriced for the same books you can find cheaper online.

Amazon.com set up a way for book owners to sell their books at their own prices. People are much more likely to sell the book to you for a more reasonable price.

You can find nearly every textbook you will need at places like Amazon for significantly cheaper prices. Get your booklist early and order online instead of heading to the bookstore for their more expensive versions.

Also consider looking into an older version of the same book. Textbook updates aren’t incredibly different.

Authors may update a few figures or the language they use, but the different editions aren’t normally incredibly different. Take a look at how the two editions compare and purchase an earlier version if there aren’t significant differences.

Earlier versions are always cheaper. Since you’re already reaching deep into your pockets for tuition as it is, don’t let textbook prices weigh you down as well.

These are just 3 ways that you can begin drastically saving money on your everyday expenses without killing you and your family. Our lifestyles have brought us up to think in certain ways. For instance, ever since we were given our driver’s licenses, we’ve had to own a car.

It’s the thing to do. You use that car to get everywhere you need. It’s usually more of a luxury than a necessity though. There’s always another way to get to work, school, church, or the grocery store.
We also think that we have to eat out when we don’t have enough time to make a meal. A sandwich takes all of a minute to make. Slow down and take that minute to save yourself money down the road.
Finally, you can shop for text books with care. You aren’t beholden to the school’s way of doing things. You can benefit from cheaper prices elsewhere.

Saving money is crucial at this time of life. Amenities like payday loans exist to help you through difficult financial times. When you want a good payday loan, there’s always one available to make ends meet.

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