- Live off Campus
As easy as campus living is, it is actually more expensive. I attend the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the cheapest rate for on campus living is around $6,300. That is not including the meal plan which can cost you up to $1700. I have stayed off campus since my freshman year, and I could not have made a better choice. I spent a total of $5,390 for an academic year.
- Don’t Buy Books
As crazy as this sounds, don’t buy books unless you 100% have to. There are a few tips I have learned in order to help me save money:
- If you have a friend in your class who has already brought the book, link up with them and take pictures of the pages you need.
- See if you can find the book for free online. I was surprised to see that three of my school books were posted online for free. If you cannot find the entire book online, sometimes they will have sections, cases, or the stories you need.
- GO TO THE LIBRARY! Your library should have all the books you need for your classes. They should also have a scanner so you can scan the pages you need, and take them home.
- Find friends in your major who have taken the class before you, and see if they will let you borrow their book.
- Don’t Eat Out So Much
It is hard to fight temptation when there are a bunch of fast food restaurants around you. Eat at home! In order to budget your money, create a meal plan for the entire week. If you do decide to eat out, come up with a limit. Since I knew I was going to be out of food almost every Saturday, and I only go grocery shopping on Sunday I made Saturday’s my eat out day. If you don’t know how to cook… I advise you do!
- Cut Off Your Lights!
I have three roommates so it is hard to keep the light bill below $20 per person. However, to make things better on your end if you are not watching the TV cut it off. If you don’t need the lights on turn them off. When you go out of town, unplug TV’S, lamps, and other electronics that you aren’t taking with you. Also, changing your AC drastically and washing your clothes a lot can cause your electricity bill to go up.
- Go to Free Events
My freshman year I went to almost every party there was (Don’t do it). Although I had a lot of fun, I spent at least $100 on tickets and outfits to go to parties. Trust me go to free events and parties, they are all the same.