It’s not news to anyone that college is expensive. On top of tuition and living expenses, paying upfront for costly study materials can be the cherry on top of a mountain of financial struggles for a student. To help lessen the burden, here are five simple measures you can take this semester.
1. Community Finance
If borrowing money from someone you know is not an option, it can be difficult to find a loan option that isn’t riddled with excessive fees and confusing conditions. For essential, education-related expenses like textbooks, low-interest money loans from community finance services may be a more suitable alternative. These companies provide smaller loan amounts with flexible terms and financial advice. They are focused on helping people who may otherwise be excluded from mainstream financial services, like low-income earners and students.
2. Selling Last Year’s Textbooks
As long as the educational content of the book remains relevant, your old textbooks will retain their value, even after you’re done with them. Make sure you take care of your book – avoid marking them with ink or causing any other damage, and you’ll be able to sell them second-hand. You can advertise your old books online, talk to second-hand booksellers, or even put the word around among the new students on campus. Once you make a sale, you can put the money towards your new books. And when next semester rolls around, you can repeat the process.
3. Consider Buying Second-Hand
As mentioned above, textbooks don’t need to be brand new to be useful. Have a close look at the edition of the textbooks required for your course. If the edition was published a year ago or longer, you’ll likely be able to find a second-hand option at a much more affordable price.
Do a thorough look-through of any book before buying it to make sure it is in good condition. If buying online, always ask for photos of the inside as well as the covers. For hygiene purposes, and for your own comfort, you don’t want to receive a book with stains, excessive wear-and-tear, or damage that covers up the valuable text.
4. Money-Saving Apps
There are many different mobile apps designed to help you passively save money while going about your day-to-day activities. For example, there are apps that round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and save the remainder in a fund you can access later. Alternatively, there are budgeting apps that remind you about your budget limits and track your spending. Choosing an option that works with your lifestyle can make saving those extra dollars an effortless task.
5. Take Up A Casual or Temp Job
Being a full-time student is hard work, and committing to any kind of ongoing job can be difficult. Luckily, finding temporary or casual work is easier than ever now with gig economy sites like Freelancer, Upwork, or Airtasker. You can take up a task in your professional field, be a tutor, or even do something casual like helping someone with heavy lifting during a move, or household tasks like ironing. You don’t need a mountain of experience or a cover letter either, just the ability to help, and on the more popular sites, a fast response time!
Keeping up with your finances can be difficult when you are a college student. By following through with the above points, however, you’ll be able to have one less worry and enjoy a more relaxing scholastic experience this semester.