Making the Most Out of College, With Less

By: Imee Malabonga

College can be the best four or so years of your life. However, it can be quite expensive. On top of tuition and paying for school supplies and projects, many expenses can hound a teenager’s mind and suck the fun out of their lives.It’s a good thing that many articles are now available online to help college students in living life to the fullest, without having to spend too much. I wish I had these when I was still studying—I could have saved a ton of money!One obvious but often ignored tip is to utilize your student ID. Transportation, food, and even movies can be less expensive when you show your ID to the establishments. Other services also give student discounts.Budgeting is another obvious but overlooked idea. Living frugally may seem like a pain, but it can actually be easy and worry free. Here’s a tip for spending money wisely—prioritize your necessities. Leftover money can be saved and used for other stuff you might fancy.

You can even think of these “wants" as your “rewards" for behaving so well financially or even academically!Another tip is to always check your finances. Track your money, check your credit statements, and never, ever leave bills in your mailbox. Also, remember to never give away your Social Security number, credit cards or bank account numbers to anyone.Speaking of credit cards, as much as possible you should only have one—and use it sparingly. Having multiple credit cards is not recommended. Too many finances to handle, and more often than not one can't pay these on time. Set your own credit line as well. Don’t max out your credit cards. Rather, pay with cash if you can.Also, pay bills on time or even earlier. It may seem like a chore, but paying bills early won’t only save you money—it can save you the hassle of waiting in line for a long time.Another tip for college students is to buy used books, or borrow if you can. Used books are sold at a much lower price, and these are usually still in mint condition.Try printing coupons from various websites, or clip them from newspapers and magazines. These coupons can save you money and give you special offers.Have an emergency fund. One may never know when you spend more than your budget allows. An emergency fund can start from saving like a dollar each day, and more when you can. It can be useful for rainy days and other emergency expenses.Finally, ask for help when you need it. Everyone makes mistakes, and certain unimaginable things do happen when we least expect it. Rack up some courage to phone home for help, and make sure to pay it off when you can. Don’t do it too often though! You have to learn to spend wisely.

Education
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