Students Expense Cutting Tips
"Students Expense Cutting Tips" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 25th July 2011
Table of Contents
Tuition / Books
- Check out grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.
- Consider taking AP (Advanced Placement) classes in high school. Passing AP exams can transfer to college credits. The cost of the exam is less expensive than most college courses.
- Buy used books instead of new ones.
- Consider paperbacks instead of hardcovers.
- Share living costs with a roommate or two.
- Reduce electricity and fuel costs by lowering the thermostat in winter.
- Hang-dry clothes to avoid dryer costs.
- Reduce hot water usage as much as possible.
- Consider doing without cable or a satellite dish.
- Limit your long-distance phone calls to off-peak times.
- Consider emailing or writing instead of calling friends and family.
- Shop for the best Internet Service Provider, so that your Internet connection costs are minimal.
- Check with your school, because you may be able to obtain an Internet account through them, even though you may have already graduated.
- Many companies offer free Internet access, although you may lose viewable monitor space due to banner advertisements.
- If you are a student, dial into your school for an Internet connection.
- Limit costly food items such as gourmet coffee and muffins, pre-packaged snacks, and fast food. All of these items have a way of increasing your expenses.
- Clip coupons and check weekly food ads for specials.
- Use a supermarket savings card.
- Buy at supermarkets, not convenience stores.
- Don't grocery shop when you're hungry. You'll buy way too much!
- Allocate a specific amount of money for food and stick to that amount.
- Pack a sack lunch.
- Cut down on meals away from home.
- Consider foregoing a car. Rely on public transportation or a bike.
- Try to limit home visits to major holidays or special occasions.
- Evaluate your insurance costs and shop around for the best price.
- Consider higher deductibles on your vehicle insurance, which may lower annual costs.
- Watch for sales.
- Check out the thrift shops.
- Buy only what you need and can afford. Avoid clothing items that must be dry cleaned.
- Don't just "go shopping." Plan purchases around sales that will allow greater savings, but don't just buy something because it is on sale.
- Shop at resale shops, factory outlets, and discount stores. Always check to be sure that the "factory" or "discount" prices are indeed lower than retail prices.
- Buy season specific clothing in the off season.
- Do you really need that cell phone?
- Be aware of hidden charges for roaming.
- Termination penalties are costly. Cell phone companies typically require you to agree to use their service for at least a year. If you quit early, you may be charged hundreds of dollars.
- Cell phone companies charge for both making and receiving calls. You will not save your "free airtime" by having people call you!
- Call your cellular provider and ask to have a rate analysis comparing your usage with the most cost-effective plan for your call volume and usage patterns.
- Create a budget and stick to it. No matter how you do it, budgeting is the first real step toward taking control of your finances. You'll find out where your money is going and you can identify ways to trim your spending without much suffering. Your goal should be to spend less than you earn so that you can save money.
- Open a checking account. A checking account will help you track your expenses.
- Balance your checkbook after each transaction. It will help stick to your budget and avoid overdraft fees.
- Don't go overboard at the ATM. ATMs can be your fast track to financial problems because it's so easy to withdraw money.
- Include and balance all your ATM withdrawals in your checkbook register.
- Get a job. Working will give you more income to pay on your loans while you are in school. Try to work only 15 to 25 hours a week and do not let it affect your studies. Working a part-time job or work-study job may give you enough money to borrow less and not create more debt.
- Pay cash for items. Do not use your student loan or credit card to pay for a toothbrush you will be financing for several years.
- Check if you are eligible for tuition waivers or monthly tuition plans that will allow more flexibility with your cash flow.
- Carry less cash. Remove the temptation of making impulse purchases by carrying less cash and leaving the credit card or checkbook at home.
- Plan your cash withdrawals. You can avoid multiple ATM fees by withdrawing what you need directly from your bank. You can also switch to a bank that will not charge you a fee.
- Check your bank statement to determine the administrative fees your bank is charging. Change financial institutions if the fees are too much. There may be banks and other financial institutions that have fewer fees.
- Cut up your cards, pay off your balances, and close your accounts.
- Buy less on credit.
- Avoid using your credit card to pay for your tuition and books. At a maximum interest rate of 8.25%, a Stafford loan is a lot less costly.
- Remember that credit card interest rates are steep, often as high as 32%. If you use a credit card, be sure to pay the entire balance in full each month to avoid finance charges.
- The dollars spent for interest charges might be better used for buying goods or services or for adding to a savings plan.
- Shop for a credit card with the lowest interest rate and annual fee. Be aware of offers that charge a low introductory rate, but after a few months raise it to a higher annual percentage rate.
- Pay off high interest charge accounts with a lower interest loan from a bank, savings and loan association, or credit union.
- Pay off the highest interest rate credit card first.
- Pay on time and in full. It sounds obvious, but many cardholders do not pay on time, thus incurring a $19 to $39 late charge.
- Leave credit cards at home when errand shopping.
- Avoid buying on credit. Pay cash for merchandise or do without, if possible.
- Instead of using credit cards, consider using debit cards. These can be used like a credit card, but are charged against your checking account.
- Negotiate your rate with your credit card company. Credit card companies usually negotiate with their better customers.
- Entertain at home with friends, have "potluck" dinners, play cards or board games, or enjoy rental videos.
- Take advantage of low-or no-cost facilities or activities. Go to the beach with friends, enjoy free concerts, picnic in the park, attend college or high school team sports, and visit art centers or museums. Try to keep abreast of the free activities on campus or in the local community.
- Read magazines or books at the library instead of buying them.
- Go to matinee movies rather than paying full price.
- If you are eligible, invest as much as possible in a 401K or 403B plan. Employers often match a percentage of your contributions and contributions are tax deferred. The sooner you invest, the faster your investment will compound.
- Purchasing cleaning supplies can be expensive. Chlorine bleach is the best disinfectant and bathroom cleaner; baking soda removes baked-on grease spots on the stove; and ammonia in water is a good cleaning solution for windows and mirrors.
- Set a limit to spend on family members and friends for presents on birthdays and holidays.
- Ask your doctor to prescribe a drug by its generic name, rather than by brand.
- Assist in paying for those college expense
- How To Reduce College Expenses
- How To Fill Financial Gap (Unmet Need) To Cover Your Actual Need
- Money Management plan to ensure a solid financial future
- State Tution Programs
- How to reduce spending to increase savings
- Online Financial Planning Guide
- Different Types of Student Loans After You Graduate, Leave School or Drop Below Half-time Enrollment
- Repay Your Student Loans Without Breaking the Bank
- Loan Counseling For Undergraduate, Graduate/Professional
- Using One Lender
- Important Documents to File
- Adult and Continuing Education
- How my eligibility for financial aid determined