Life of a college student: sleep, eat, class, maybe sleep again, study, out with friends, repeat. Somewhere in between sleep and repeat, it is important to find time to think green. Not saving the planet “green” (which is, still, very important) . . . we are talking about money!
College, in itself, is expensive. In the article College: You’ve Been Accepted, Now What?, we covered financial tips for the incoming college student. What can you do, while in school to manage and, dare I say it, save, money?
1. Take advantage of the perks that are included in your tuition package.
If you are paying for a meal plan, use it! By eating in the dining hall or restaurants on campus, you avoid having to pay for groceries or off-campus dining options. Dining hall food will get old and, yes, you deserve to treat yourself here and there; find dining options in your area that offer a student discount!
2. Register on Time.
Being aware of registration deadlines is crucial. By not registering on time, you may find yourself shut out of a required class. What does that mean? Summer school! Winter and summer semesters are typically not covered by federal loans and you and wind up with an unavoidable bill.
3. Find a Part-Time Job.
Check for on campus, or local, job opportunities that will allow you to work part-time. Even working 15 hours a week can help offset the cost of necessary expenses.
4. Save on Transportation.
Many students do not have the luxury of rolling out of their dorm room and into class (pajamas and all). If you are not a campus resident, the cost of gas prices and parking passes make driving an undesirable option. Consider carpooling with a group of friends, walking/riding a bike if you live near the school, or taking public transportation.
5. Spend Your Free Time Wisely.
You can live frugally and still have fun as a college student. Look into any free or discounted campus activities or excursions!
6. Moving off Campus?
Finding an off-campus apartment can put a dent into the budget you have created. Best advice – find roommates to help offset the cost of rent and bills, look for an apartment close to the university and make sure the apartment you choose comes equipped with all major appliances.
7. Invest in Your Future.
Work to build relationships with your professors, deans, counselors, etc. You never know when a recommendation may come your way! In addition, finding an internship will help start building your resume – employers want experience, here is where college students get it!
As you continue on your journey as a college student, you may encounter financial obstacles along the way. You are not alone! Your local credit union can provide you with valuable financial guidance, products and services (many tailored specifically for you, the college student)!
PFP | The Family Security Plan® has been working in the credit union movement since 1973 and remains committed today to unite the nationwide community by bringing valuable information about the lives of over 400,000 credit union members who know us, like us and trust us to provide them and their families the foundation for a secure future.
For more information, email PFP | The Family Security Plan® at: email@example.com
Written By: Amanda Keefe