Paying for college can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be if you do some college planning.
Here are 10 tips to make the most of your money:
1) Don’t buy a car
Some parents think buying a car for their child is a great high school graduation gift. However, insurance rates are very high, even for college students, and the risk of theft is high on campuses.
2) Don’t take your vehicle to school
There is almost never any free parking on campus for students. Even when you pay for a permit, it’s hard to find convenient places to park.
3) Live on campus
When you live on-campus, you go to the dining hall for meals, walk to classes and save on transportation time and costs. Plus, your on-campus living experience can help you get a job as a resident assistant, which will save you housing costs in your junior and senior years.
4) Use public transportation
The city which the college is located in typically has free or reduced fare bus services. Colleges also run shuttles to popular area attractions. Many colleges have restaurants and shopping within walking distance as well. There is no serious need for a vehicle.
5) Don’t shop for college items.
The best rule for moving in is to only take what you can carry. The basics for college include clothes, bedding, and a computer. Everything else can be brought later as the need arises.
6) Skip the haircuts
No one really cares what you look like in college and one of the first things you can give up is expensive haircuts. Sure, you might want to clean up for a job interview, but if you’re not working, you don’t have to be spending extra on this area.
7) Take the bus
Greyhound and other bus companies offer great deals to college students. You can save hundreds of dollars traveling by bus. It’s safer and cleaner than you think since many fellow college students take the bus too.
8) Don’t drink alcohol
If you’re under 21, you can end up spending several hundred dollars in court costs and fines for violating underage drinking laws.
9) Apply for scholarships after you’re in college
Most college students think scholarship opportunities end after they get admitted but plenty of colleges and companies offer scholarships for students in school.
10) Use subsidized loans to earn money
If you receive a subsidized federal loan, you don’t pay interest on it while you are in college. That is 4 years of 0% interest. If you have leftover money, put it in a money market account to earn upwards of 2% back.