Tips to Survive College on a Budget!
Now that a new semester in college has begun, one of our biggest worries is the expenses that come along. Whether it's books, supplies, or even just new clothes, all of these things can add up to a lot of money. My amazing parents help me out with these expenses so I like to do anything that will make them save!
When I first started college I wanted to be so prepared and be on top of my game. I am the first person in my family to actually go to college so I had to do many things on my own. Of course, I made a few rookie mistakes, however; now that I am in my fourth semester in school, I have learned many tricks on how to survive college on a budget.
I believe these tips are very helpful and will save you a lot of money. Honestly, I wish I had someone tell me all these before I started school, but oh well! Now, I get to share my secrets with you :)
Tip #1: NEVER pay full price for a textbook!
This was the first mistake I personally made and where I wasted (brutally) all of my money. There are other ways to get your hands on a textbooks you need apart from paying your school's bookstore $200 for it.
- Rental: Chegg and Amazon are the two sites I have used to rent my textbooks and I actually really like them. They both have great customer service and you only have to pay for shipping for them to deliver it to you. Returning it at the end of the semester is free. You can also sell your old textbooks and get money or credit to buy new books.
- Online books: they are way cheaper than the physical book and a lot more practical. You can either buy an online version of a book or you can also rent it.
- School library: before you even think about buying a book, check if your school library has it. Some school libraries only let you use it in school but you can always scan the pages and email it to yourself or just stay in the library and do your work. Personally I prefer the second option because I like the environment and it actually motivates me to get work done.
- Public library: the library has become of my favorite places in the world. Yes, I know that makes me sound like a nerd but it's true! You can find literally almost every book, cd, or movie you can think of. I recently found this other outlet for textbook hunting and I don't know why I didn't think of it before. You can check online first to see if they have the book you need; if they don't have it at your local library, you can request it to be brought there and they'll let you know when it's ready for pickup.
- Used: buy a used version from a book store if they have it. They will cost a lot cheaper. If the store doesn't have used versions, you can also ask someone who has taken the class a previous semester if they are selling their and negotiate a price :)
Tip #2: Supplies
Do you remember when we were in elementary/middle school and we would get really excited about going back to school shopping. You would buy new pencils and crayons (even though you already had a bunch at home), a dozen notebooks, and a new backpack? Well....let me just break your heart right now and tell you those days are over. I mean you could still go crazy by all means but it is honestly all you need in college are literally like 3 things. Some tips to save money on school supplies:
- Bring your laptop: taking notes on your laptop is very practical because you can keep all the information you need for all your classes in one place. You can make different folders to get organized and also you can easily get rid of it when you don't longer need it.
- 1Binder: if you like to write rather than type then an easy way to save is buying a binder and using dividers to make different sections for your classes. It keeps everything together and you can find a binder for $3.
- Unless you are an art major then you will literally only need like 2 pens and a pencil for tests. Other than that, you will need nothing more.
- Bags/backpacks: ladies, if you are looking for an inexpensive, fashionable bag that will last a while I would recommend target or H&M. They have a variety of cute options that will cost about $35 and will probably last you all 4 years.
Tip #3: Clothes
You don't have to be a fashion student to want to look good for school. I mean, who doesn't love a good outfit? Personally, I LOVE shopping and most of the time I have almost no self control. This is why I have found other ways to save myself money and still have pretty cute clothes.
- Discount Stores: Century 21, TJ Max, and Marshalls are some of my favorites. Of course, it all depends on the location, but it is a lot of fun to shop there because you never know what items you may find at a really good price!
- Black Friday: Yes, it gets absolutely insane and people are crazy, but sometimes the sales are worth it and a little money can go a long way on this day.
- End of season/holiday sales: these are some of my favorites times of years because some of my favorites have some nice sales and I just love that!
I hope you find these tips helpful and if have any tips of your own, share them!
- Diana :)