Smart Tips to Save Money During the College Years

College can be expensive, and sometimes there’s no way around this factor.  However, there are a few tips you can choose to take into consideration that can help you save money in the long run.

  • Transportation

Wherever your choosing to go to college find out what the main form of transportation is.  At UC Davis, many students choose to bike everywhere, and I really do mean everywhere.  Also, they have a main bus route that goes to many places in town on a round-trip system to parts of the main campus.  This helps tremendously getting to and from school without having to pay for gas.

Take FULL advantage of this!!  It will definitely pay off.

  • Food

When you’re living on your own you have to be mindful of what you’re buying.  When you’re grocery shopping always ask yourself, “Can I make a meal out of this?” before you decide to buy it.  The reason for this is it’s too easy to fall into the trap of buying only snacks and not meal-worthy items.  Then when lunch or dinner comes around you’ll find you’re only able to eat snack food or have to make an extra trip to the grocery store, which is just another added expense.

Also, be aware of how much you’re buying.  Try to make meals that you’ll have leftovers for another time.  If you’re choosing to cook with friends, which makes it a little cheaper if you all decide to chip in, make sure it’s worth it.  If you’re spending about the same amount of money on this, but getting a smaller portion of food then it’s probably not worth it.

  • Room

If you’re moving out of the dorm rooms and into an apartment with friends or previous roommates, make sure you do your research.  Look up multiple apartment complex’s that meet the requirements you need such as number of bedrooms, parking spaces, washer/dryer in the facility or room, etc.

Don’t get stuck signing a lease only to find out later on you could’ve gotten a better deal elsewhere!   Many students fall into this trap, unfortunately, so don’t let it happen to you.

  • Miscellaneous Items

When you finally decide on a place to live your first instinct is to furnish it.  However, talk to your roommates and figure out a plan before you start purchasing anything.  This way, one of you may have a couch or a dining room table that you can use for the year, and it’ll cost absolutely nothing.

Check with the apartment complex that you’ll be living with to see if they have a “furnished package deal.”  This means that they will furnish your apartment for a monthly cost.  This could entail a mattress, dresser, desk, couch, dinning room table with chairs, and possibly bar stools.

One thing to be aware of is that many times this requires ALL roommates to agree to this deal.  If you’re choosing to live with 3 other people then it may be hard to get everyone to agree on an added cost every month.  So, remember to check with each other first.  Chances are you’ll be able to get everything you need by communicating with one another and saving everyone money in the end.

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Kali White

Kali White

Kali White is a junior at the University of California, Davis pursuing a degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. Her goal is to have a career working for a publication company writing and editing. In her free time she enjoys the outdoors, reading, playing and listening to music, and travelling.