College gives you a new sense of freedom that is both exciting and overwhelming. You can do what you want, whenever you want! But let’s face it; college is expensive. Students are bombarded with expenses such as tuition, textbooks, and room and board, just to name a few. This necessitates you to save and make money in college.
Students can be tempted to spend more money in college than they have, which leads to financial difficulties later on. It’s important to resist that temptation to engage in reckless spending whether you are an incoming or current college student.
Not sure how to save and make money? Look no further! Here are 7 easy ways for students to save and at the same time, make money in college.
1. Research on-campus jobs help you make money in college
This is an easy way to make money! If you are granted work-study by your college, be sure to utilize this and get an on-campus job. Even if you don’t have work-study, on-campus jobs are available to all students. Research online or contact your student life department in order to find out what jobs are available. This is one of the most convenient ways to make money in college.
You can even walk around campus and ask in-person in various academic settings, such as the library or computer lab. You’d be surprised at how many jobs are available on-campus! If you can’t find a job on-campus, explore options off-campus at nearby restaurants or stores.
2. Be on a first-name basis with your financial aid department
This is a recommended way to save money in college! Once you begin college, be sure to introduce yourself to your financial aid department, even if you haven’t been granted financial aid. If you’re not a first-year any longer, it’s not too late to build a relationship with your financial aid department!
Being on a first-name basis with your financial aid department will give you the opportunity to explore if you are eligible for financial aid or additional grants and scholarships. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
3. Save money in college by making a weekly spending schedule
It is easy to overspend during college. Keeping a weekly spending schedule will keep you on track and to not overspend. Set a maximum limit for spending for each week of the semester (for example, $60 a week). Write down on your phone or computer what you spend money on each week. At the end of the week, calculate your total expenses.
Do this every week and you’ll save a lot of money in college. Don’t stress if you spend too much money one week, but be sure to spend less the following week!
4. Utilize your meal plan to save money in college
It’s free food! If you’re paying for a meal plan, make sure you use it. Go to the dining hall with friends and research other food spots on campus that are covered by your meal plan. Dining halls offer a variety of food options and are much more convenient than going to the grocery store weekly. Be smart, save money in college by going to the dining hall!
5. Be mindful of your spending on food and drinks
Overspending can be tempting when friends regularly want to order pizza or go out to the bar (only if you’re 21, of course!) When making a weekly spending schedule, make sure a portion of that spending is for food and drinks. If you go out to the bar with friends, make sure that you have a limited amount of cash on hand instead of a credit card.
This will really help you save money in college, so you are not tempted to splash out. Don’t worry if you’ve spent too much money one week, suggest a movie night in with friends instead of going out!
6. Make a grocery list
If you like to keep snacks in your room, make a list before going to the grocery store. Be sure to avoid going to the grocery store when you’re hungry; this will make you want to buy everything in sight! Buy off-brand items and items that come in bulk. They’re usually cheaper and will effectively save you money in college.
Make a limit for the amount that you want to spend at the store and only buy the necessities. Plan out the snacks that you want to have before making a trip to the grocery store. Try vegetables and hummus as a snack – it’s healthy and affordable!
7. Save money in college by applying for scholarships
Many websites offer outside scholarships for college students. Applying is usually a quick and hassle-free process. Try exploring Scholarships.com or Studentaid.gov in order to find out scholarships that you are eligible for. Apply for as many as you can… as you can end up saving a lot of money in college. There’s no such thing as too much aid!
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