If college is so expensive, how do you make it through without debt? It is nearly impossible for most people to graduate without student loans. However, many things in your control will help reduce the burden. By following this advice, you are setting yourself up for long-term success.
1. Cost of College
First, you must figure out what your expenses will be. We recommend creating a mock budget before you even leave home. That way, you are not caught by surprise when you have to pay for everything.
Did you know that 50% of people pay at least one-third of their income towards rent? Housing will always be one of your largest expenses. It would be best if you took the time to find affordable housing.
Tuition at most state universities is several thousand dollars a semester. You could save money by going to a community college. However, even community colleges are becoming expensive today.
If you want to do well in your classes, you should get the books. Remember to set aside money to pay for those as well. Sometimes you can find older additions to your books at a far lower cost. Ask your professor if there are enough differences in the updated edition to warrant the cost. Otherwise, we recommend going with the most affordable solution.
2. Budgeting for College Students
If you do not want to graduate with a ton of debt, you must learn how to budget. Budgeting is not that difficult. However, it only works if you are disciplined.
Put it on Paper:
Our biggest recommendation would be to put your budget on paper. Do not try to remember it in your head. By putting it on paper, you are making it a reality. Thus, you are much more likely to follow through with it.
Set Aside Money for Emergencies:
You might feel comfortable after creating a budget. You should feel good. However, emergencies happen from time to time as an adult. If you do not have any money set aside, it could derail your entire budget overnight. Set aside some cash to have in case of an emergency. That way, a single accident doesn’t throw you off course.
3. Money-saving Hacks for College Students
Most of the time, you can do more with your money than you realize. It always comes down to how efficient you are with your spending. By learning a few new skills, you can stretch your budget much further.
Learn the Art of Cooking:
How often do you go out to eat? If you want to make your budget go further, learn how to cook. Not only is cooking for yourself healthier, but it is also much more affordable. That way, you can spend your money on things that are important.
Become a Bargain Hunter:
When you need to make a large purchase, do not get it at the first store that you find it. Take time to research competitors and evaluate any price differences. Typically, you can find the same product at a far more competitive rate somewhere else. Why would you pay more than necessary to get the same result?
Master Low-Cost Hobbies:
Hobbies are essential for a fulfilling life. However, they do not need to cost a ton of money. If you have expensive hobbies, consider looking into some lower-cost alternatives. It can really ease the strain on your budget.
Get a Roommate:
Getting a roommate might be the biggest life hack of the year. Not only does having a roommate make the college experience more fun but they are vital in keeping your bills down. When you have a roommate, you can split all of your expenses like your rent, internet, groceries, as well as your Centerpoint Energy bill. There are some drawbacks to having a roommate such as lack of privacy, different personalities and ideas of cleanliness, etc but it is a great way to learn how to communicate effectively.
Graduating Without Debt
Are you ready to experience life without that? If you are about to enter college, it is within your reach. By making the right choices now, you could graduate without any debt at all. Even if you have some debt, it will be far less than you would have graduated with