College can be a very expensive proposition. Not only do you have to hassle with ever increasing tuition costs, you also have to, of course, pay for meals and lodging while you are in school. Add costs for clothing, entertainment, and others and you might easily find yourself shouldering a huge pile of debt when you graduate.
The good news is you don’t have to take all these lying down. You can effectively cut down on your costs by penny pinching strategically. First, your selection of school can dramatically impact your tuition costs. Just by going to an in-state college dramatically lowers your tuition costs if you are a state resident. Second, choosing to live in a fraternity or other organization-related housing substantially lowers your housing costs. Third, cooking your own meals cuts down on food costs. Use these other tips below to shave the costs off your college life.
Borrow Used Books
It pays to know many people in college. Why? Not only do you get invited to more parties and events, you might also save quite a bit of money on your books. If you are taking popular courses or prerequisite courses, you can ask people in your social network if they took that class in the past. If you come across people who haven’t yet sold their books, you can ask to borrow their books for the semester. This saves quite a bit of money since you don’t have to buy the books.
Buy Used Books
In the event you don’t know anybody who is willing to let you borrow used books for a class they took, you can take the step many college students take-you can buy used textbooks. Most colleges have used textbook bookstores or regular bookstores with a used textbook department. The downside to going this route is that sometimes the price difference between new and used textbooks is a few measly dollars. You are not guaranteed substantial savings by buying used textbooks.
Swap Notes for Book Usage
If you know people who are taking the same class but at different days or time slots, you can ask to exchange class notes you take for the usage of their books. This might work out if the person you are dealing with doesn’t like to read textbooks. You are doing them the favor by giving them class notes.
Take Notes from Library copies
If you don’t know enough people to borrow books, you can check with your campus library to see if there is a copy of the latest edition of the book in their collection. If there is, you just need to read it and take notes. The advantage of doing it this way is that it pushes you to read the book-probably more often that if bought the book. It also, of course, saves you a lot of money.
College does not have to be a very expensive proposition. The good news is that you are in full control of your finances and that doing small strategic actions can result in dramatic savings.