Being a college student is tough. People tell you constantly that these will be the happiest years of your life and sure, they might be, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard work. When you’re a working student, all of the hardest things about college suddenly get harder, time management, your social life, and maybe most of all, money management.
So, to give you a helping hand, here are 4 money-saving tips for working students.
1. Apply for Scholarships
This is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your financial well being at college. First of all, who doesn’t love free money? You got into college, so chances are, you are already smart and hard-working enough to qualify for scholarships as well! Still, don’t stop at academic scholarships. Scholarships are awarded for all kinds of reasons, including sports, arts, writing and simply, need. So, don’t hesitate to apply, you deserve the help as much as any other student and have just as good a shot at them!
2. Buy Used Textbooks
Besides tuition, textbooks must be the most expensive part of going to college. Buying your first term’s textbooks is a rude awakening! If you are feeling determined never to see a receipt from the bookstore like that again, no one would blame you. Luckily, there are better ways! Most university libraries have longer lending periods than public libraries and they should have most if not all of the class texts in stock. It is absolutely permissible to take one out and use it for the term, just be careful to renew it appropriately and take good care of it! If that sounds like too much work, don’t forget that you can and should buy your books second-hand in-store or online – you might even get lucky and find the student from last year that left some helpful notes!
3. Take Care of Your Stuff
The last thing you want when you’re a working student is to have to replace expensive electronics. These days, college students have to be online far more than even a decade ago. Professors hand out class outlines and work online and expect their students to be available for online discussion groups and sometimes even online quizzes! You need your laptop and cell phone, so make sure you take care of them as well as the information they contain. You can take care of your important electronics and information with actions like these 5 things to do.
4. Be Careful with Debt
Many people start trying to build up their credit during college and while it is important to have a good credit score as you get older, it’s more important to make sure that your credit doesn’t get the best of you. Be sure to always pay your credit card off before you start getting charged fees – they add up quickly!
It will always be tricky to work and study at the same time, but it’s critically important to strike a balance. Losing your job or falling behind in your studies can cost you, so make sure that you don’t overwork yourself in either area and most importantly, be sure to take time for yourself. In the long run, taking care of yourself is the most important thing.