Going to college is considered a rite of passage for most people. Students often can’t wait to leave home and enjoy living on their own as adults. While college is all about education, there are some life skills that are needed to make your college life bearable.
College students are known for having to live on very little funds due to their class load and being away from home. Many students don’t work so there is very little disposable income to go around. Below are some tips to make college life much more affordable. Minimizing your expenses can go a long way in having a good college experience. It will also help you avoid the temptation of borrowing money through student loans for necessities. Try out some or all of these ideas to maximize your dollar.
Google Docs: Using Google Documents for your papers, spreadsheets and presentations is a great way to avoid paying the high cost of software. In addition to being free, your Google documents are stored online, so you can access them from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection available. Google offers several tutorials on using Google Docs and they are compatible with Microsoft documents, spreadsheets and presentations without the hefty price tag. You can share your documents with others allowing edits and collaborations. This can be great for all the group projects you will be engaging in as you go through college.
Skype: Stay in touch with friends and family members back home through Skype. Skype offers you the ability to make voice calls over the internet. If you are talking to another user who has Skype, you can make these calls for free to and from anywhere in the world. You have access to one-on-one video calls, instant messaging and file sharing all for free with Skype Free. If you want more features you can select one of the monthly subscription packages that Skype offers. Web cameras come standard with many new laptops and aren’t that expensive to purchase if your computer doesn’t have one.
Textbook Rental: Paying for text books is probably one of the biggest expenses involved with a college education after tuition and living expenses. One of the most frustrating things about purchasing textbooks is that at the end of the semester when it’s time to sell them back, you only get back a fraction of what you paid if anything at all. Renting your textbooks can be a great way to cut down on these costs. There are several web sites available that offer textbook rental, with some advertising savings of up to 90 percent. Be sure to compare among the different sites so that you’re getting the best price.
Ride a Bike: No matter where you go to school, having a bike is going to be cheaper than trying to keep up with a car. Riding a bike around campus will also help you get some exercise in while going from one class to another. The way college campuses are set up, you will be able to get much closer to your destination on a bike than you ever would in a car. You won’t have to worry about earning gas money, paying for oil changes, buying tires or other maintenance which leaves you with more money for other things. A decent bike can usually be purchased for under $100 and all you need is a chain to keep it locked up while you attend classes. Many campuses have shuttles for students when the weather is bad, so pairing a campus shuttle with a bike can still help you save money when you consider gas prices and possible parking fees.
These are just a few of the ways you can save money while in college. Every little bit helps and learning how to stretch a buck can be just as valuable as the education you are working so hard to earn.
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