When you head to college for the first time, it can be a bit daunting. Being on that big campus can make you wonder where you should go, with whom you should spend time and whether you made a big mistake and just want to go back home. Moreover, you may be completely broke. Don’t worry – this is simply the nature of being a college student. As a freshman, you will be spending most your time trying to fulfill your credit requirements and trying to impress teachers, so you won’t have time for a full time job. This is exactly why it can help to have some tips for managing your finances like a pro. Even if you are on a shoestring budget, you can still make what you do have stretch pretty far.
Here are five helpful money tips for college freshman.
Always Devise a Budget
One of the most important money tips is to budget your finances. When you are a freshman, you will have quite a tight budget. Indeed, you want to have a daily budget and monthly budget for everything – from your cell phone bill to your tuition to how much you should spend on coffee each day.
Never Buy New
New items will always have a premium. For instance, when you go to purchase textbooks, you want to either buy them online, or you want to find a used bookshop. If you purchase books new, you could be spending a fortune. Moreover, you want to purchase your clothes from thrift and vintage shops. If you spend a lot of money on new clothes then it may start to hurt your finances. Of course, there is also the option of asking your parents for a new sweatshirt or pair of jeans if they are in a position to help.
Use College Resources
When you go to college, your school will usually have a number of resources to help students. For instance, you may have a cafeteria where you can pre-purchase discounted meal tickets. Instead of going out to eat every single day, you want to use as many meal tickets as possible. Moreover, you may want to see if there is a counselor you can talk to about taking on some part time jobs. Your counselor may also be able to guide you on other matters too.
Live On Campus
Instead of renting an exorbitantly expensive apartment in the city, you may be able to save a lot of money by simply living in the dorms. As a freshman, it is only customary to live in the dorms opposed to an apartment. There is also the option of living at home with the folks, but there is a good chance that you will want your independence.
Take Both Online and In-class Courses
On top of everything, you may want to think about splitting up your course load into online and in-class units. For instance, you can easily get ACU’s conflict resolution degree online opposed to in-class. The benefit of online courses is that they are much more affordable and you don’t have to worry about things like parking and other miscellaneous costs.