You know that feeling of being broke? Like you can’t even afford to make a local call on a payphone? In college, you are going to feel the burn of being short on cash and it’s going to sting. This is exactly why you want to take measures to budget accordingly. Whatever scratch you do have in your wallet, you want to make it last.
Of course, you are making a sacrifice that will pay off after you graduate when you start your career, but four years can be a long time. The truth is, though, that with some basic budgeting tips, you can keep your head just above water. Here are five basic budgeting tips for college students.
- Cook Your Own Food
Indeed, restaurants can be expensive – too expensive for a college student. This is why you want to head to the market for some basic groceries. Cooking at home is not only more affordable – it is also much healthier. You could live on vegetables and other cost-effective produce and keep your mind sharp. You may have to balance things out with ramen noodles here and there, but you may start to learn to love it.
- Keep Snacks in Your Bag
In college, you are going to be running around a lot. A typical college campus can be quite large. If this is the case, you may be tempted to grab a candy bar or chips from a vending machine. However, this is one of the best ways to burn through your side cash and whatever change you have in your pockets. Moreover, snacking on these things can contribute to weight gain. By keeping some snacks on you, you can cut back on the fat and sugar, save your side cash and stay energized to make it through all your classes.
- Avoid Driving
Driving a car can be incredibly expensive. If you are on a tight budget in college, you may want to give up driving altogether. Many colleges make it easy to get around – either with private shuttles or public transportation. With a car, not only do you have to worry about your payments – you also have to think about fuel, maintenance, parking, and much more.
- Take Online Courses
In-class courses can be expensive – mostly because the college has overhead to worry about. When you take a class online, you won’t have to spend as much money and you still get a great degree. For instance, you could be taking a Rutgers online course and you could have your degree in as little as two years. Indeed, online courses aren’t for the lazy – they are for the hungry to learn who are on a tight budget.
- Purchase Textbooks Used
On top of everything, you want to purchase all your textbooks used. Brand new textbooks can cost a fortune – sometimes it can feel like a racket. In the end, though, used textbooks are just as good and you’ll only be spending a fraction of what you would have otherwise spent.