College life is all about stretching your dollar the farthest it can go. While it's always a struggle, there are definitely some unique tools in today's world that will help you accomplish this feat.
1. SEARCH AND APPLY FOR OBSCURE GRANTS AND FINANCIAL AID
Fastweb.com estimates that there are 1.5 million (yes, I said millions) of obscure and small scholarships available to today’s student worth over 3.4 billion dollars. Many of these are even targeted to your strengths, interest, and skills so visit this site today and start winning some of these scholarships to boost your initial budget.
2. ALWAYS SHOW YOUR STUDENT ID
Chances are pretty good that your school is the hub and epicenter of the neighborhood economy. With that being said, it makes sense for local businesses to offer a student discount. So bust out that student ID anywhere you make purchases at, you might just be surprised at how much you will save.
Photo source: http://www2.leeward.hawaii.edu
3. CREATIVELY SHOP FOR FOOD
Buying in bulk and using coupons can really save you a ton off of your monthly food budget. Also, seek out discount grocery stores in your area to stretch that dollar the farthest.
4. COOK TOGETHER
When you pull food resources together, you get the most value for your buck. Coordinate cooking times with some of your roommates and you’ll be able to create dishes that are more extensive and culinary-esque that what you would’ve been able to create on your own.
5. DON’T SHELL OUT MONEY FOR SOFTWARE
There are plenty of free MS Office-like software platforms out there that such as Libre Office. Using these generic programs versus the mainstream ones can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars throughout your college stay. If you must have the mainstream versions, buy them on campus, as many schools offer heavy discounts.
6. BUY USED TEXTBOOKS
This might sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes there is just not enough used stock that is physically available at the time of purchase. Enter Textbook.com, they claim to have an inventory of 10 million with discounts ranging all the way up to 90%.
7. UTILIZE TECHNOLOGY
One of the biggest benefits that today’s student has is the plethora of technology that is out there. Take the Mint app, for instance, this sleek and smart app helps you create a workable budget and stick to it. It’s completely mobile and customizable to your personal lifestyle.
8. SAVE MONEY ON ENTERTAINMENT
Entertainment usually takes a big chunk out of your budget, but it doesn’t have to. Amazon has created Amazon Prime Student, and with it, any student can access a treasure trove of entertainment options including free streaming from a huge library of movies, tv shows, and original content. It also provides you the freedom to read thousands of books digitally or listen to a wide variety of novels via Audible. For students, it’s free for 6 months then it allows you sign up for regular Prime for half the cost, ultimately coming down to less than $5 a month.
Now that you've got budgeting down, check out some of the things you will need to survive college life here.