Freedom has never felt so expensive until you come to college. You finally have your own place, and you make your own rules but you do not have the money to enjoy everything you want to.
By the second half of the semester, you may find yourself searching nooks and crannies looking for quarters to do laundry and wondering where all your money went.
Learning to budget well is essential to college survival. Not only does it save money, but it also builds your character as you learn to make smart choices and become independent. College can become a lot more fun if you learn how to budget your money.
Here are six simple money-saving tips that are helpful for any college student wanting to avoid bankruptcy:
1. Seek alternative transportation
Skip the hassle of parking and paying for gas by taking advantage of the free transportation system offered on campus.
The three-shuttle system runs from 7AM until 5 PM during the weekdays around student-based apartments in Troy. Students can find shuttle maps at the University Police Department, Barnes & Noble and the Trojan Center.
If you live close to the school, walking to class or riding a bike is healthy for your body, the environment, and your wallet. Another smart and convenient option is carpooling with friends and/or classmates.
2. Buy or rent used textbooks
Do not spend all your money on textbooks from the campus bookstore. Websites like Chegg, Bookrenter and Amazon offer discounted prices on new and used textbooks.
If you do not want to wait a week for your textbooks to arrive, Amazon Prime even offers college students benefits, such as free two-day shipping, free for a six-month trial period.
Some websites also buy new and used textbooks from students which means more money in your pocket at the end of the semester. Buying books from other students in the campus is also an economic alternative.
3. Take advantage of campus resources
After paying for tuition and textbooks, you may wonder how you can afford to do anything in your leisure time. The university itself offers a solution by providing students with many free activities and resources.
Avoid monthly gym memberships by using the fully equipped fitness center on campus free of charge. If you want or need a book, check the library first before you spend any money.
A variety of cost-free activities is always on-going on campus. Most of them also include provision of free food. Events like laser tag, step shows, dodgeball and dollar movie night are nominal ways to have a great deal of fun. Intramural sports are also great for recreation.
4. Ask for student discounts
Carry your student ID everywhere you go in Troy and ask if they offer students a discount before you pay. Many businesses in the Troy area will give a student discount to Troy University students that show a valid university ID.
5. Search for scholarship opportunities
Luckily for us, finding free money can be simply a matter of doing a Google search. Many scholarships have specific criteria for applicants.
It is important to read scholarship requirements, if there are any, before applying. However, scholarships opportunities can be easy to find because there are so many of them. Different departments within the campus offer different scholarships throughout the year. Staying vigilant for such opportunities can put less strain on your bank account.
Students can find scholarship information at the financial aid office and the university website.
6. Keep track of expenses and make a budget plan
Most college students fail to note their spending and impulsive purchases can leave you broke. Assign a certain amount you will allow yourself to spend each month on food, shopping, travel and other such expenditures. Knowing your limit can help you stop from spending idly.