As a freshman in college, you are going to be enjoying a lot of new experiences. Indeed, this time will help shape your adult life. For instance, you will meet friends, you will discover what you want to do for a living and you will grow intellectually.
However, you will also experience what it’s like to live on an extremely shoestring budget. After you leave the comfort of your parent’s home, this may come as quite a shock. There are a number of important financial lessons that will help you not only hold on to your money, but also save money and be able to pay back any student loans. Here are five important money tips for college freshmen.
With a college ID, you may not realize it, but there are discounts everywhere. When you go to the movies, you may get a few dollars off each ticket. If you like to go to the movies a lot, this can offer significant savings. Moreover, your student ID can also help you save on meals and much more.
2. Pay Off Your Debts
If you have student loans, you want to work towards paying them off over the course of your collegiate career. This may literally mean working a part-time job to subsidize some of the costs. If you are bringing in some capital, you may be able to save some money, which will help curb some of your costs and it will help you out in a jam.
Also, having some extra spending cash will make college life a lot more comfortable and provide you with the opportunity to splurge on some new purchases or just have peace of mind knowing that you won’t be buried in debt upon graduation.
3. Purchase Your Textbooks Used
If you purchase new textbooks, you could be out hundreds of dollars per class. However, if you find a used bookstore, you could actually save that money. Used textbooks are usually only a fraction of the cost of new books, depending on the condition. If you go online, the used books you find could only be a few pennies for each book. Make sure, though, that you check the condition report before you purchase because you don’t want to buy a book that is riddled with notes and highlighter marks.
4. Take Online Courses
The truth of the matter is that online courses are drastically more affordable than in-class courses. For instance, you could take a UIC online course program and get your degree in as little as two years. If you are going for your Associate’s degree, you could put yourself through college for very little money. Plus, taking online classes is a lot more convenient than having to drive to school every day.
5. Use Credit Cards to Develop Good Credit
On top of everything, you want to be sure that you start developing credit. During your college years is the ideal time to build your credit, because you want to be able to graduate with some financial clout. In the end, this is especially important if you want to balance out your debts and consolidate any student loans.