Going to college is expensive, no doubt about it. Between textbooks, tuition, housing, utilities, and maintaining a social life, managing your money can be challenging. So, here are a few habits to avoid if you want to save more of your money.
1. Buy new textbooks
College textbook prices have increased faster than tuition, healthcare costs, housing prices, and inflation. You can cut this expense by buying used books online through Amazon or Half Price Books, or renting through sites like Chegg or Campus Books.
2. Carry a credit card balance
If you use a credit card, only charge what you’re able to pay off in full each month. If you’re already carrying a balance, consider transferring the balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate and no or low annual fees. Armco Credit Union offers a Cashback Rewards Visa® Secured Card, which is a great way to establish credit.
3. Own a vehicle
If you live on or near campus, having a car is a needless expense. By avoiding monthly car and insurance payments, parking fees, as well as gas and maintenance expenses, you’ll save over $20,000 during your four years at college. Consider using public transportation, getting a bicycle, or walking. And if a car is a necessity, consider a safe, late-model, used car financed with a credit union car loan.
4. Buy a daily latte
A latte at $4 a day adds an extra $120 to your monthly expenses. Instead, buy a coffeemaker, a pound of coffee, and a travel mug and you’ll be able to brew a month’s worth of coffee for a fraction of that cost.
5. Live alone
Save on housing and utility costs by sharing an apartment with a couple of friends. Use Banzai’s Budget Calculator to track your monthly expenses.