Generally costing thousands of dollars or more, college can hit a student very hard financially. First year college students will find many different measures to help them preserve funds during their first foray into the real world.
Do without a car
In many college towns, a car is not necessary. Cars bring with them thousands of dollars in costs, including the price of the car, gas costs, insurance costs, maintenance and more. Since many first year college students live on campus, a car may not be necessary at all. College towns often offer great biking and public transportation options.
Save on food
If you have a meal plan, then make sure you use it to its potential, suggests U.S. News and World Report. Some people eat out so much that they have unused meals that just disappear at the end of the semester. Also, most dorms and apartments have some sort of cooking facilities. You can save a great deal of money by making your own meals instead of eating out every meal as some college students do.
Do not overdo it on school spirit items
You may be so excited when you get to school that you buy a ton of t-shirts and other school spirit items. Remember that you may not wear any of these once you are done with school. Think about how much you truly need and do not overdo it.
Save on school supplies/books
You can save a lot of money on books if you purchase used ones instead of new ones. Sadly, the campus bookstore may be the most expensive source for these. Look on the Internet at sources such as Amazon, where you can find some great deals on used textbooks. Sell yours back when you are done to earn some extra money.
Also, do not overdo your school supply purchases until you know what you really need. Each class should provide you with a list of materials so that you can buy what you need and not waste money on useless supplies.
Do inexpensive activities
Instead of going to expensive concerts, go to free campus events, suggests Get Rich Slowly. Look for community events or simply hang out with your friends for some low-cost fun.
Save on housing costs
Although you may be tempted to move into that fancy apartment with your friend, you may be able to save a significant amount of money by living in a dorm. The experience will also provide memories to last a lifetime. Consider adding a roommate to allow you to split the cost of rent. If you have a roommate, see if you can split some items such as having one person buy the refrigerator and the other buy the microwave.
Although college is expensive you can save money as a first year student if you take the right measures. The more you do, the more you will save.