Beat The Freshman Fifteen- Cut the Fat on Spending!

Everyone knows that a college education is one of the best investments a person can make. That investment, however, requires an awful lot of up-front capital. So, what’s a college student to do? Try following these tips for cutting spending and living large on a lean budget.

  • Take it easy on eating out.  Spending money on restaurants, take-out, and mid-night pizza is a sure-fire way to burn through cash. Prepare meals at home, pack snacks, or invest in a campus meal plan.

 

  • Enjoy free Activities. Colleges offer a variety of free AND fun activities for students. These include movies, game nights, socials, and more. These activities are the perfect way to relax without breaking the bank! More importantly, you’ll make new friends and grow your social network in ways that will prove invaluable later in life.

 

  • Choose local banks that cater to students. Open a free checking and savings account to avoid extra fees and service charges.

 

  • If you must drink, drink cheaply (and, of course, legally!). The mark-up on alcohol is outrageous and is a fast way to make your money disappear. Instead of splurging on top-shelf stuff, seek out local joints. There will be plenty of time later in life to enjoy fine wines and craft brews.

 

  • Buy Used Textbooks. New textbooks are one of a college student’s biggest budget-busting burdens. Every student NEEDS books, of course, but the words in the used versions are the same as in the fresh new books. Buy used and save a load of cash!

 

  • Frugal living is chic. Resist, I repeat, resist the temptation to buy useless clutter.

 

  • Keep reminding yourself that you are a student.  This is the time in your life which everyone expects to live the Bohemian lifestyle. Embrace that!

 

  • Budget wisely. Build a realistic and practical budget at the beginning of each semester and LIVE BY IT.

 

  • Avoid ATM fees. . . the banks are already rich enough and there’s no need to pay them for the privilege of getting your own money. ATM fees rack up quickly and cost you a lot of money. Keep enough cash on hand for needed expenses to avoid this trap.

 

  • Get a bike. A bike is not only a great way to save money on gas; you will get plenty of exercise so you can skip the pricey gym membership while helping Mother Earth AND your wallet.
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