If you’re working while you’re attending school in order to help finance your education, you know how expensive things can be. School costs a lot of money, not only for tuition, but also for things like books and supplies. You’ve also got your basic living expenses to think about. If you don’t manage your expenses well, your budget can get a bit too tight. Here are six tips for cutting costs as a working student.
1. Drop Unnecessary Coverage
If your car is getting up there in years, you might want to consider dropping all insurance coverage except the state-required minimum. Older cars aren’t usually worth much, so having collision coverage on it will be of little benefit should the car get totaled. By keeping the coverage, you’ll pay a lot more money in premiums than what the car is worth. Sticking with the minimum coverage can save you hundreds of dollars every month.
2. Eat Out Less
Studies have shown that the average person eats out a whopping 195 times every year. Even if your favorite restaurants offer a student discount, eating out still costs more than preparing your own meals from scratch. Nearly anything you can buy from a restaurant can be made at home for a fraction of the cost.
3. Buy Second-Hand
Most anything you need for school and home can be bought second-hand, saving you a ton of money. Clothing, furniture and housewares can be purchased from thrift stores for rock-bottom prices. There are even stores that specialize in buying and selling used college textbooks.
4. Ditch the Car
You can save a lot of money by giving up your car and walking, biking or using public transportation to get around. Cars are a constant money drain, and unless you live far from school and work, they’re not really necessary. Between fuel, insurance, maintenance and parking fees, you could be spending as much as half of your living expenses on your vehicle alone.
5. Live at Home
While many students opt to live on campus for the sake of convenience, it’s a costly choice. Thrifty students may want to consult their parents about continuing to live at home while they work and go to school to help them save money. Even if you have to pay rent, it’s likely going to be a lot cheaper than living in a dorm.
6. Don’t Be a Brand Snob
More often than not, the off-brand groceries are just as good, or better, than the big brands. In fact, they’re usually made by the same companies and sold with generic packaging. The off-brands are also much cheaper. You could save tens of dollars on every trip to the store by buying exclusively generic brands.
Dan is a blogger who is also a contributing writer for a good site here that explains a sipp well.