As a new college student, whether national or international, you know that textbooks, food and other daily expenses can add up quickly. Now that you’re on your own, you may find yourself responsible for managing how and when you spend your money. It is important to limit your spending, but you do not want to sacrifice your social life either. How is it possible to have both?
Start by developing a more frugal mindset. This does not mean you need to sacrifice fun in order to save money. It means knowing that you can have fun without spending a lot, and understanding that a little bit of saving goes a long way. Here is some advice for thinking more frugally:
Do I really need this?
America may be a country of consumers, but that doesn’t mean you need to fall prey. Before you make any purchase, ask yourself if it’s something you really want or need. If you can easily think of something you’d rather buy, then it might not be worth it. For expensive items, try saving extra for a few months first to lessen the blow on your bank account.
Take advantage of the Free Things
While it’s important to explore your college town or city, sometimes all you really need is to surround yourself with great company. Get together with your friends and watch a movie in your dorm, go to the dining hall together, check out a student play on campus or hang out on the quad when the weather’s nice. You’ll realize that you don’t need to spend a penny to have a good time.
If you don’t have enough money to cover your expenses, you can always look for a part-time job to increase your income. You will have to check your Visa to ensure you are eligible to work. If you are restricted, you could tutor your friends or high school kids to earn a bit on the side. Just make sure that you don’t compromise your class schedule, get your homework done and work only if you really have some spare time.
Set some Goals
You have to have certain goals to keep you going and to make sure that you stick to your budget and rules at all times. Write down your goals and put them up on your fridge or your wall so that you will be reminded of your goals every day. Of course, you need to make sure you can reach your goal. Also, try to put a little money aside for a little savings account at the end of every month. Doing this will help you save money for the future and it may even serve as an emergency fund.
This is a guest blog post by Nadine Lubkowitz from peerTransfer, the easiest way to pay your tuition fees in your home currency, letting you save money by offering a best rate guarantee. For more tips, tricks and advice on being an International Student in the U.S., read their blog!
While your college years may represent some of the best ones of your life, they do not have to be the most expensive ones. Anything from tuition fees, textbooks, housing, food and entertainment can add up quickly. The following tips and easy steps should help all college students save money by cutting back on expenses, without becoming overwhelmed with rules, limitations and details.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to create a budget. If you do not know where your money is going, you can easily lose touch and overspend. Write down all the income you receive, from loans and scholarships, up to your savings and potential allowances from your parents. Figure out what your fixed costs are, such as rent, food, cell phone bills, etc. and deduct it from your total income. Finally, see what types of expenses are important to you and where you could spend less money on things that are not as essential (i.e. dining out every single night). This should give you a good overview of where you stand and make it easier for you to create a weekly budget knowing which costs are important and which ones can be avoided.
We all know the ridiculously high prices of textbooks, so do not hesitate and take advantage of your school’s library. Most campuses have extensive libraries that will allow you to borrow textbooks and save on buying new ones. Becoming a member of the town’s public library can also help you do your research. If you do decide to buy your own books, try out the college bookstore where they usually offer second hand books, compare textbook prices online, or try finding used books online, such as on Amazon.com. You can also consider sharing books with classmates, or ask fellow students to borrow theirs. Another alternative is using ebooks or free textbook alternatives.
No matter where you are going to school, local communities are used to having students around. Hence most restaurants, movie theaters, travel agencies and clothing stores offer student discounts. Make sure to always ask for your discount with your student I.D. You will be surprised how much money you can save! Coupons can also be a college student’s best friend. Become a member of the bigger grocery stores and receive free coupons in the mail. There are plenty of student specific deals sites or group saving deals online,which offer anything from hair cuts, to restaurant vouchers and other deals at up to 75% off.
Paying Tuition from abroad
For all of those students who come to study in the U.S. from abroad, ditch those crazy bank wire transfers to pay for your tuition fees. peerTransfer processes tuition payments for international students without all the hassle. It doesn’t only let you easily pay in your home currency with a few clicks, it also lets you save money by offering a best rate guarantee.
Your best friend’s birthday is coming up, but you just spent the last of the money in your bank account on textbooks for your English class. Christmas approaches (along with finals), but you haven’t even started your shopping, and you don’t know how you’ll pay for gifts for your family and friends. Scenarios like these are all too common for the busy college student with limited funds, but presents don’t have to be an ordeal. Here are some helpful hints. Read More
You would think saving up all of the money earned at your summer job would cover pretty much all expenses for the college year ahead. School supplies, nights out on the town, and that poster of your favorite band over your bed. But wait, have you factored in the cost of textbooks? Now those nights out look more like nights in with ramen and a fuzzy blanket.
Don’t fret! There are many ways to get around the hefty price tag of these at the bookstore for college students. Read More
Urban life has a lot to offer for college students – diversity, interesting people, employment, internships, nightlife, history, art, and culture. But the city’s high cost of living and numerous expensive allures can empty your wallet and drain your bank account if you’re not careful. Here are some tips on enjoying the city without burning a hole in your pocket. Read More
Road trips are often a necessary part of moving to college. It’s hard to fly all the necessary things for a dorm room to school, and it can be very expensive to ship many heavy boxes. If you’re going on your own or with parents, it is always important to prepare for a road trip. Read More
Let’s face it. France and cheap aren’t usually words that go together in our minds. It’s more like, France and horrendously expensive and decadent deserts followed by not even bothering to convert from Euros while paying our Louvre entrance. I’m here to tell you that you can do France on the cheap, even Paris! And I’m going to show you how. Read More
In the previous post, I discussed how making a professional-looking Facebook profile is important for employers who want tosee a more personal side to you as a candidate. LinkedIn is a totally different animal. This is a strictly business-oriented, insanely useful networking site that not only provides information to an employer, but can also help you to trackone down. Here are some helpful steps to navigating this goldmine of potential job opportunities. Read More
There are the obvious ways to make money: by getting a job. It never hurts to make some extra cash on the side by taking some creative liberties. Here are some fun ways to pay for that coveted college education. Read More
Keeping your bank account flush with cash requires a lot of hard work. Voucher sites — such as Groupon, LivingSocial, Eversave and College Budget — can make it easy to get great deals on the stuff you already buy (or the stuff you want to do, but couldn’t afford to do at full price). They conveniently show up in your inbox each morning, and it’s all too tempting to focus on the bargain, click “buy” and get your printable coupon. Read More