These are 10 ways to trim your budget. Basic budgeting will save you money and time in the long term!
1. Wash only full loads of clothes. Don’t waste your quarters by washing only one or two items. Bonus: Don’t use the dryer to dry your clothes completely – hang them up while still damp to save an extra quarter or two.
2. Take public transit, bike or walk. Not only will you save money from gas or car costs, but you will get some exercise and fresh air!
3. Group your errands. Do all of your errands that require a car in one afternoon, and/or carpool with friends. This saves gas – which is a big money burner for college students.
4. Stop eating out. While it seems convenient, fast food and restaurants actually take lots of dollars from your pockets and add pounds to your hips. It is far less expensive to make your own lunch and take to school, or make meals with groups of friends.
5. Use generic medications. Even if you are just taking an antibiotic for a cold, select the generic version of your medication. It is less expensive. Many stores, including WalMart and Target, offer discounted generics for as low as $4!
6. Buy classically designed clothes with trendy accessories. If you have trendy clothing, it will be out of style by next season, and you’ll be having to spend your summer earnings on a whole new wardrobe! Instead, buy classic items that will last through many seasons. Spice them up with trendy accessories like funky jewelry, handbags or ties.
7. Go to beauty schools for haircuts and spa treatments. Not only will you pay up to 90% less than at a regular salon, but you are providing the students with valuable experience!
8. Use University resources. Most universities offer free or deeply discounted gyms, tutors, counseling services, career centers and more. Find out what is free on your campus and use it! Also find out if your school offers any discounts for students for electronics, car rentals or apartment complexes.
9. Stay away from credit cards. One of the top ways to get yourself into a budget crisis is to charge all kinds of stuff on your credit cards and then not be able to pay the bill off in full. Credit card debt can follow you for a long, long time. If you can’t pay it off in full within a month or two – without going hungry – then you probably shouldn’t get it.
10. Check online for better prices. While it may seem like a great idea to buy your books at the campus bookstore, or your computer at your local electronics store, 9 times out of 10, you can get a better deal online.
Coming tomorrow: Final tips for a great school year
The 2007 Back to School series is designed to help students be more successful! New articles will be posted daily for two weeks, beginning August 13, 2007. Subscribe to the Back to School feed to get new installments in your feed reader.