College years are usually spent carelessly and sometimes even jauntily, but only if you have one thing working for you – money. With enough of it, you are free to party, travel and study as much or as little as you want, but there are some unexpected financial issues you have to be aware of.
Students at certain colleges have to spend more money on books and textbooks than others, but these are their main source of information and where their knowledge comes from. This expense cannot be avoided, but it can be minimized, which is especially important now that textbooks are getting more expensive faster than ever. Furthermore, when you are a student of literature, you have a reading list of a dozen books per subject that have to be added to your expenses.
Luckily, you can get second-hand books and good deals on fiction on websites like AbeBooks or the BookDepository. Another good idea is reading e-books that are much cheaper than printed copies, or just look around your campus – there must be an antique store that offers $1 books.
When speaking of e-books, you have to have a device to read them on. Whether it is a Kindle, tablet or smartphone with an exceptionally large screen, all of them cost quite a lot if you are in a financial problem. Moreover, you just cannot imagine attending college without a laptop any more as so much material is available online and many teachers encourage using new technologies.
Students are bound to make financial mistakes, but buying a learning device should not be one of them. You can look for a used one, but be very careful: pay attention to the warranty and who you are buying from. Alternatively, you can use a device your friend or sibling stopped using or opt for one multi-functional device instead of two or three simple ones.
While taking student loans is not popular in some countries, in others, like the USA, it is quite common. However, you should be extra careful – and this cannot be stressed enough! – when taking one: pay close attention to the fine print, be sure to understand how much money you will have to repay and how much it will all be useful in the long run.
When it comes to student loan payments, they usually take years and even decades to repay. However, a good deal might not only save you from financial problems at college, but also ensure you a good starting position after graduation and a chance to do something with your knowledge right away. If you decide to take them, do it as soon as possible and give yourself enough time for payment. Finally, combine federal and private loans to reach the amount you need and minimize potential paying issues.
Even though student dorms are often the cheapest solution, not everyone can get a place in them, so you have to think about alternative options. Sharing a room with a friend, finding a couple of flatmates, living with a relative or, in the end, renting a small affordable place of your own are just some of the ideas. Ultimately, you have to make this space your own and minimize the stress you get from your accommodation issues – financial problems always affect your studying, so try to find a financially viable solution that will allow you to perform the best you can.
Among several things students most often spend their money on are also travel expenses, social life, clothes and food – all are essential, yet their costs can be lowered. Finding a part-time or freelance job will assist greatly, so you can look into that as well.