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Financial Aid Search Engine Ways to Save Money in College So you have already looked for scholarships, grants, and loans and are still finding it hard to pay your way through college?
It goes without saying that the typical college student is either broke or financially hanging in the balance most of the time.
Managing the Money You Have To save money you need to manage it. I hate to get on the topic of money management right off the bat, but if you expect to save money you need to be a bit savvy with the little bit of cash you have: Get a free checking and savings account.
The bank will nickel and dime you on dumb stuff like too many ATM withdrawals, too many checks written, or a funds transfer. Shop the town for banks catering to students. Make sure you can access online banking, pay bills and manage your account without attached fees.
If you need more, you simply go online and order more, but leftover checks are more typical than not, especially with online bill pay options becoming more commonplace. Extra checks become nothing more than wasted paper and wasted dollars. Think your card will be declined if your account has insufficient funds? If you go into the red in your checking account, your debit card will usually continue to work without even so much as a burp.
Every time you make a debit card purchase while you have insufficient funds in your checking account you are also being slammed with a banking fee. On top of that, the bank charged me another separate fee to transfer funds from my savings account to my checking!
Unless you have an automatic overdraft protection that enables funds from your savings account to be transferred, you can be way more broke than you ever imagined in one, short weekend. If you have to have a credit card, make sure you get one with the lowest interest rate possible; no annual fees and with only enough of a credit limit to get you by in an emergency. Pay credit card bills on time. And do not go over your credit limit—that offers just one more way for your credit card company to get rich off your poor judgment.
Serious about saving money, huh? For one month save every receipt of everything you purchase, from a pack of gum, a tube of toothpaste to your computer. Log each expense in a notebook. This sure fire technique will unabashedly expose the evils of your spending ways.
Count and roll spare change yourself. Stay away from those coin-counting machines you see at the grocery store. They will rip you off or at the very least charge you a fee. But if you must Be cheap Buy the cheap stuff.
Pabst Blue Ribbon and Old English 40 oz. A cheap 5th of Vodka might cost about the same as a drink or two at a bar.
Drink where the specials are. Some college bars and dance clubs have pitcher specials, 1 dollar drink specials, no cover charge, or other specials for people going out early or going out on slower nights. Pre-game if you do drink heavily. Don't bring much money with you to limit how much you drink and spend. For those beer lovers who really dislike the cheap beer, join a beer brewers club or get a group of dorm mates to brew beer. In the last few years the hobby has grown exponentially and college students everywhere are brewing.
At a sit-down restaurant avoid ordering the alcoholic beverages. Most restaurants make a killing on beer, wine and fancy cocktails. The alcohol mark up can be anywhere between 75 and percent! An option is to shop for BYOB restaurants. Books Every college student must buy books. On sites like Amazon. The campus bookstore will sell a supply of used books, but they are limited; so check the online sources as well.
The book will be almost exactly the same, except for maybe some Chinese characters on the front, AND it will be exponentially cheaper. Have your own store of used textbooks? Sell your used textbooks online and make some cash for yourself, at the same time you will help some other starving students save their money.
Or you can sell them back to the campus bookstore, but expect to take a big hit on the value if you sell them back to the book store. Some sneaky students wait in the campus bookstore with their old books in hand, trying to connect with new students that need their books, hoping to strike a better payout directly.
Trying to eat on 12 cents? If you live on campus and pay for a partial or whole meal plan, then use it. Peanut butter packets are your friend: Have a coffee fix? If you are one of millions of college students ducking into the corner coffeehouse every morning for your daily cuppa Joe, then you are wasting money. Keep your own change. They have a job. Skip the fast food forays and late night take-out.
Make sure you keep healthy, affordable options in your room or apartment. Yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese, bagels, peanut butter are all affordable, convenient and much more healthy than a late night burger and fries. Collect coupons and follow the weekly sales at the grocery store.
Avoid high-end markets like Whole Foods. These are nice, but most products cost much more. Kick the bottled water habit; support your local tap water and drink for free. Get a some kind of filter if you want better tasting water. Avoid a sit down restaurant with a large group. Go to a take-out joint if you must, or some other low-cost eatery where self-serve is available and you are not obligated to tip.
Get your roommates to stay out for the night. Save your tip if the pizza guy gets lost, your order is messed up, or he is lacking in customer service and general niceness. If you are studying computer sciences, hit Google up for free pizza. Computers - Hardware and Software Not many college students can survive these days without their own computer, but do you need to put out the big money for a souped up version, or can you make it on the stripped down model?
Begin by shopping wisely following these money-saving tips: Apple Computer offers student discounts to students and teachers, and consistently advertises important education incentives and rebates.
I recently bought an Apple laptop because it was bundled with a free Nano iPod and a free photo printer, copier, scanner. Other computer companies offering student discounts: Dell Computer offers student discounts directly through a participating college or university.
118 Ways to Save Money in College
You have to sign up. Okay, all college students want a sharp-dressed little laptop they can take with them to class or the coffee shop. But if you know you can do without the laptop, you will possibly save hundreds of dollars shopping the desktop models. If you MUST have a notebook, you may consider exploring the refurbished notebooks; a used laptop will cost significantly less than a model not driven off the lot yet, and in some cases you can get a darn attractive warranty and a good system to boot.
Laptops and other trendy little electronics can be made off with quickly in a dorm environment. Software is another high-dollar item.
Using Linux software will keep you away from the higher-priced Windows alternatives. The company specializes in attracting college students and offers enticing student discounts and rewards. Also shop online software clearinghouses for discounted products from all vendors. Many categorize by subject. Freeware and shareware are a great way to get your hands on games, utilities, spyware removal, anti-virus and firewall programs: Companies dupe you into believing the plan is worthwhile.
They become rich off your extra cash. Anything extra is likely just…. Anti-virus and firewall protection will keep your computer in top working order and it will last much longer. When shopping for software avoid retail electronics departments. Instead seek out some good freeware and shareware products on the sites we mentioned in Your computer printer is a costly headache when the ink cartridges run dry.
Cartridges at an office supply store can cost you top dollar. Try shopping for printer cartridges online, compare prices and find free shipping. Lifehacker shows you how to convert a laptop into a DVR recording fiend. Have you ever tried to throw away an old computer? You cannot just put computer components in the trash, and that includes monitors and printers.
Old inoperable computers must be recycled. Recycling typically costs you money. Facilities that recycle, and most municipalities do, must charge for their disposal services.