August 5, 2011

Category: Smart Spending

How to save money while in college

As many parents and college students know, kids living on their own while getting their education can face a lot of money problems because of how expensive everything can get, and also because of their lack of financial know-how, according to a report from the Salisbury Post. But there are a number of ways to save money while going away to college.

One of the best ways to do so is to be sensible, the report said. For example, it might seem like a good idea to spend a lot of money on dorm room decorations and other things that parents might think are essential for a college kid, but this often isn't necessary. For example, many kids may receive an extra set of bed sheets from their parents, which can be expensive, but then change them rarely if ever. In addition, most college kids won't need a lot of new or expensive furniture, especially when high-quality used products are readily available online through sites such as Craigslist, at yard sales or even from thrift stores such as Goodwill.

In addition, many college kids ask their parents to spend a lot of money on expensive meal plans, but then don't take full advantage of it, the report said. If a kid is not the kind of person who likes eating breakfast, then it probably doesn't make sense to buy them a plan that gives them three meals per day. Choosing one that offers just two meals a day and perhaps some flexible points that can be used at any time might save a lot of money in a relatively short amount of time.

Further, kids should really consider trying to find jobs on or near campus, which can help make the college experience more affordable, the report said. Often, work-study programs offered through the school can pay kids a reasonable amount of money for just a few hours a week, without putting their studies or leisure time in jeopardy.

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