Money is always tight when you or your child is in college. Even if students work, they probably can’t work enough to make significant money. College is an investment, but it costs a lot of money initially. It’s always a good idea to save money and earn extra cash in any way you can in college.
It isn’t easy. There are a lot of expenses to take care of. Getting educated is expensive between tuition, room and board, food, and essentials. Below are five financial tactics to get through college.
Apply for Grants & Scholarships
It’s clear with the amount of student debt that exists these days that many people accepted the perils of loans. They should be your last resort. First, you should apply for grants and scholarships before you take out loans. Apply for anything you think you might receive. Take the time to fill out the applications and provide the necessary paperwork. There are a lot of grants you can apply for when the student has already started school. When the semester has begun, it’s not too late to apply for grants. Don’t settle for loans if you can obtain another form of funding.
Skip the Dorm Room
Depending on where the student is going to school, skipping dorm living can be a good idea. This is, of course, unless it is more affordable than any other option. There’s no shame in students living with their parents when they go to college. The standard of adulthood has changed. Young students should save money by staying home when they can. Is the student going away for college? It’s worth looking for an affordable spot with roommates. Still, if the dorms are the most inexpensive option there are other ways to cut spending and keep some money coming in.
Work at the School
It can be tough to work outside of school, especially when the student is involved with their education, but it still may be necessary to bring in money. One option is for the student to work at the school. Programs usually provide work/school benefits that enable the student to prioritize school while bringing in some money.
If you’re a parent, you shouldn’t just pay for everything without the student putting in their effort. Of course, you want them to focus on school but there will be plenty of times when they could be working. Working during school will help bring in money to balance all the money going out.
Go for Meal Plans
One effective way to cut down on the cost of school for college students is to go for meal plans. A meal plan from the college cafeteria can be much cheaper than going out to eat. There aren’t many ways to cook when the student is in the dorms. Meal plans can provide a way for the student to get something to eat without worrying about money. It will already be paid for, and the plans that colleges typically offer are a better price than always going out to eat. It’s not a five-star restaurant, but if you look into the college’s meal plan options, you can probably save money by buying a meal plan upfront. Just make sure to utilize it!
Budget with an App
With so many financial-tech options, it’s possible to budget using an app. So many fin-tech companies are creating products to help all kinds of people live more financially literate lifestyles. Whether you are trying to spend less, keep track of your subscriptions, or gain access to detailed graphs and data on the money going out and coming in, you should look at some options. Click here for a fin-tech app specifically designed for college students.
College has only become more expensive. It isn’t easy for students or their parents to pay for school, but there are a lot of methods to decrease the amount being spent and the amount coming in. It’s pivotal to make a comprehensive effort. Whether you are a student or a parent, paying attention to the details is instrumental.
Mark is the founder of Financial Pilgrimage, a blog dedicated to helping young families pay down debt and live financially free. Mark has a Bachelor’s degree in financial management and a Master’s degree in economics and finance. He is a husband of one and father of two and calls St. Louis, MO, home. He also loves playing in old man baseball leagues, working out, and being anywhere near the water. Mark has been featured in Yahoo! Finance, NerdWallet, and the Plutus Awards Showcase.