5 Things You’re Wasting Money on–and How to Avoid It

It’s easy to act like your financial decisions don’t matter while you’re in college, but they do. Most students postpone money management till they graduate, but here’s the thing, if you manage your money well in college, you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars. And good money management skills won’t only help you in college, they’ll help you lead a great adult life. According to research, most students face serious financial crises Maintaining a social life in college can be expensive, and that’s why most students waste money. Here are 5 things you’re wasting money on–and how to stop it.
  1. Takeaway Food
The $5 or $10 you spend on meals every day may seem insignificant, but it all adds up. Buying fast food and takeout may seem convenient, but the long-term effects on your savings and health aren’t worth it. Yes, it’s not easy to make food from scratch every day, and sometimes the meals in the college cafeteria may be uninteresting, but choosing these options could mean saving hundreds of dollars a month.
  1. New Textbooks
New textbooks cost more than used ones. Search for used copies online or at your college bookstore. You can save even more money by sharing textbooks with a friend or borrowing someone who already took the classes. Downloading a digital copy is also a great option as soft copies tend to be cheaper.
  1. High Rent
As reported by The College Board, housing costs happen to be some of the highest for college students. Some students spend as much as $9,205 per year on rent. Since room and board may account for more than half of your college budget, look for cheaper accommodation. You can share housing with a friend or stay in a dorm. You can also consider getting credit to meet this cost, like a title pawn online.
  1. Credit Cards
One of the best rules to live by in college (and in life) is not to use a credit card for anything other than emergencies. Get in the habit of using a debit card or cash. Some college students with credit cards rack up a lot of debt by the time they graduate.
  1. Beer
Drinking is a very expensive habit. College students, on average, spend $900 a year on alcohol. And we haven’t even talked about the fines they pay for underage drinking and DUIs. Research by the Social Science Research Council shows that students in college spend 51% of their time socializing, and drinking happens in most of these social events. You might as well socialize less and save some money. If you must go out, make the most of happy hour or attend student union events instead of going to the bar. You could even spend time cooking dinner with friends and save more. College days are fun and care-free, however, the habits you build now and the financial decisions you make will impact your life long after college. So, make sure you’re doing all you can to save money. You’ll be glad you did.

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