College can be stressful, and we do not refer to the learning part as real learning takes place outside the classroom. Furthermore, getting your degree, you will also set the grounds for your future, so it is essential to do it right. Knowing what to expect and learning how to manage your finances will surely make it less stressful.
What to Expect When Starting College
They suck, but coffee will always be there for you. However, don’t make them chronic as you need sleep. Please do your best not to drink too much caffeine after you discover its magic. It is not suitable for your liver, and it can even cause acne. If you plan your time well, you will get all the energy you need by staying well-hydrated, eating healthy foods and having a quality sleep.
- Some Classes Will Be More Difficult Than Others
Find a tutor before things get out of hand, this does not make you dumb but not completing your degree within four years does. Plus, every additional semester equates to another set of expenses.
- Engagement Will Be Rewarded
If you have to choose between a double major and getting involved on campus, get involved. Be active during class as you could get extra credit or a valuable reference. You are also here to network.
- Doing Your Laundry
Be there to take them out a minute before the cycle ends as you do not want to be perceived as rude by your other students. If you have new colored clothes, wash them separately from whites.
- Creative Ways to Save Money in College
Studying is time-consuming and energy-draining. The last thing you want is to worry about money. So, make a budget with your disposable funds and list your expenses. You can label them into categories and identify areas where you can trim your costs. Below are a few areas with opportunities for savings:
- Don’t Buy New Textbooks
Textbooks can be insanely expensive. Try to borrow them from the library or your classmate. Alternatively, you can rent them or buy used ones.
- Always Have Your Student ID With You
This will be your most valuable possession throughout college as it will bring you discounts for pretty much anything you can think of: from restaurants to stores.
- Be Careful With Eating Out
Even with student discounts, eating out can quickly eat up your budget. Splurging a bit to buy a quality coffee maker would be much wiser and more cost-efficient than going to Starbucks each morning.
- Choose Housing carefully
Living on campus will be much cheaper than living off-campus. Campus dorms usually have lots of amenities: from gyms to game nights, and they could be even free of charge. Also, don’t forget to factor in your commute if you opt to live outside your campus. There is still a lot you can do to trim your costs such as get a roommate to split the costs.
Aim to buy energy-efficient appliances with an Energy Star rating as they will significantly reduce your energy bill. Also, while you are at it, understand your energy consumption so you can identify areas where you can change your habits such as wash your off-peak laundry times and perhaps even find a better rate. Just look at PA electric rate comparison by city, and you will see the difference. There are so many providers offering kinds of deals, so choose one that suits your needs best.
- Start paying off your student loan ASAP
If you took out a student loan, your future self would thank you if you start making payments right now. Just like starting a term paper early, it never hurts to get ahead when it comes to loans. To give you a better idea, for $10,000 loan to be repaid over a decade at an interest rate of 6%, even a small amount such as $25 a month can save you $450.
Another useful tip is to learn to do your taxes and your FAFSA yourself. Although you do not have to do it, it will prepare you for life after college, and you will make your parents proud. There is no great secret to saving money during college. All you need is some discipline and common sense.
Takeaway Work hard and play hard. You came here to get a degree, so that is your priority. However, you can also have a great time and meet new people. The bottom line is that you are an adult now, and meeting your academic and budgetary goals will set you off to a good start. Just because you do not have to go to work for eight hours a day does not mean you should not act like a professional, so be confident and get out of your comfort zone as this is the time to try new things.