The cost of college quickly adds up. But with some thought, you can lower your expenses effectively. Follow the five tips below to save your budget and lower your cost of living as a college student.
- Find an apartment.
Living in a dorm has advantages but it is often more cost-effective to find an apartment with roommates to save money. It requires some effort to find a good apartment so start hunting early. You want to get one that is relatively close to campus, a grocery store, and public transporatation. An apartment with laundry equipment and free parking on-site are ideal for saving money, too.
- Eat smarter.
Look for ways to cut your food costs. Cooking at home is your best option. You are sure to find tons of budget recipes online with only a few ingredients. It also helps if you plan a weekly menu so you can shop once and repeat ingredients. If you have friends that are also cutting costs, consider starting a dinner group. Cooking one large meal for six people will often cost less than preparing smaller meals.
Leave your car at home. This will free you of insurance, car maintenance, and registration costs. Besides, many campuses can be circled on foot and you can definitely survive without a car. If you are living off-campus, getting an apartment with access to public transportation will definitely save you.
- Save on books.
Some books cost more than rent so be clever when shopping for them. Plan ahead and order your books from a secondhand site or utilize discount sites. Investing some time browsing online for book deals will sure make a big difference on your budget. Remember to sell your old books to have extra funds for next semester’s books, too.
- Split the bills.
Make sure you protect yourself when it comes to bills. Ideally, you will choose an apartment that charges utilities with the rent. Just remember to divide your bills among roommates and have all your names written down individually. This ensures you will not be kicked out if your roommate decides to stop paying his or her share.