College life is expensive and with the cost of tuition, housing and even groceries on the rise a student can find they have to quit school just to afford to live. Don't give up on your college dream because of money. Instead follow these tips so you can cut the cost of college life.
- Choose a state or public school. Even if you don't have Ivy League dreams you might be looking at extravagant tuition bills. Small and private institutions often charge large fees. When shopping around for a school, look for one close to home so you can pay in state tuition and save money. Look at the schools in your state that are public institutions then choose the best for you.
- Live at home. Dorm and apartment living are one of the largest expenses during college years and beyond. If possible you should consider living at home with your parents during your college years. If there is a school near your home, and your parents are willing to provide a room, then living at home can save everyone some cash. Don't plan on this method for saving without talking to your parents first. They may have other plans for your old space and they may want you to learn responsibility through paying your own bills. Don't be surprised if your parents start charging your rent on your old bedroom or the new basement suite.
- Get a roommate. When you cannot live at home, look at getting roommates. Piling too many people into a small apartment is a college tradition. Get your closest friend who is going to the same school and plan on rooming together. The more the merrier is part of the fun of college so check out apartments with four or more rooms sharing a common area. This is sure to save you on rent.
- Grocery shop in bulk. College students are famous for drinking their diet instead of eating it. Don't starve or live on a beer only diet. Instead gather your grocery money and head to the nearest warehouse store. Buy your ramen noodles, soups and peanut butter in bulk. Then plan on eating most of your meals at home before you go out.
- Do your drinking at home with friends. Alcohol is expensive when you are buying drinks at a club. So do your drinking at home. Or consider heading to a free campus event like a movie night or concert on the quad. You can get your social time, meet new people and have a blast without spending too much money.
- Give up the car. While your car may be a symbol of freedom and independence it is also costing you. With the cost of gas, insurance and car payments your car can be expensive. Give up those costs and use public transportation or walk and you'll do your pocketbook and your health a great service.
- Cut out the extras. When you find your cash flow running short it's time to give up sorority and fraternity events and travel, at least for a while. Save the money you would have spent on that ski trip or spring break visit to Mexico and use those funds for next semester's tuition.
You can cut the cost of college life. With a few simple changes you can save enough bucks in one semester to pay the grocery bill for the next one. If this doesn't work, it's time to go out and get a job.