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, Campus Book Rentals, or Campus Books. The best part of using a pre-owned book is the possibility of extra notes or important text already being highlighted.
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. Many young adults mistake maxing out their cards and having to carry that financial burden for years. Make sure to set terms for usage, and discuss the appropriate maximum balance on the card each month. Get set up with a Resource One Credit Card and have all your teens’ finances in one spot to make keeping track of payments easier.
3. Go out to eat
If you spend, on average, $6 for breakfast daily and $12 on lunch or dinner, you will fork out $90 for five days of food. Instead, buy $90 worth of groceries, and you’ll eat for a month. Meal plans can look scary at first, but do the math and determine how much that could be saving you in the long run.
4. Go to bars for fun
Drinking can be a costly habit. On average, college students spend $900 a year on alcohol. Instead of going to bars, have fun inexpensively by going to student union events, bowling, or cooking dinner with friends.
5. 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, 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.
If a car is necessary, consider a safe, late-model, used car financed with a car loan. Resource One offers low, competitive rates and even a first-time car buyer loan.
6. Live alone
Save on housing and utility costs by sharing an apartment with a couple of friends. Or see if your school offers sharable apartment plans to avoid any payment mishaps from your roommates. These apartments typically have a room and bathroom for each student with a sharable living room and kitchen.
7. Not having a Budget
The worst mistake any parent could make is allowing their child to go off to college without knowing how to budget or pay bills. Take time to teach your child how to do basic budgeting, statement review, savings goals, and bill pay. Resource One offers tools to accomplish these tasks for online and mobile banking. If you need additional help teaching your teen about finances, we offer our members free Financial Coaches who are certified to help with this type of situation and more.