DETROIT - Paying for college is getting more challenging these days. As many students get ready to head back to campus, many are wondering how to cut costs and save money this year.
According to Bloomberg, college cost have increased more than 1,100 percent since 1978. So every little bit of savings helps.
The experts at the financial website, Mint.com, suggest one idea for students to save money is to leave their car at home. Students may not like the idea of not having their car readily available, but leaving the car at home can save $200 a month in gas alone and students will avoid their campus' parking fees and insurance cost.
"There's parking costs, there's gas costs, there's insurance costs," said father of four Dave Mcguigan. "There's nothing wrong with a bike and walking, it's great exercise."
Comparison Shop Before Buying At Campus Bookstore
Another way for students to cut cost this school year is to avoid buying their books and school supplies at the campus bookstores.
The prices at the campus bookstores are often higher because there is less competition on campus. Instead try buying or renting used books online.
Retailers always have great deals and can ship the books to you quickly.
College students might also save money by waiting until after the first day of class to buy books. Unless the professor has emailed otherwise, waiting will allow students to see if they actually need the book, or if they are allowed to buy an older cheaper version of the class book.
Search For Sales
Students can also save money by spreading their school supplies shopping throughout the summer, and watching for sales.
Credit Card Help
It is also important for students to remember, as they start applying for their first credit cards, they need to pick the right card. There are higher-end cards that will give students extended warranties on things like computers and laptops just because they used the card.
Also, make sure the spending limit for the card is low. "We've had students rack up five and ten and fifteen thousand dollar bills in one semester, just not paying attention," said college planner Ron Caruthers.
It is also important for students and parents to look at the college tuition bill print out. This insures there are no unnecessary charges to the student's
account. For example, some colleges will charge students for health insurance. If your student is covered under a family health insurance plan, you can cancel the college insurance.
Here are some other college saving tips:
- Get a roommate. Splitting the rent is a great way for students to save money.
- Look for used furniture. Graduated college students are always looking to sell their apartment furniture.
-Apply for school scholarships. Every little bit help. Colleges have scholarship money they have to award to students every semester.
-Limit the times you eat out.
- Don't buy the most expensive or biggest meal plan.
-Make your own coffee. Campus coffee shops are expensive.
-Skip the soft drinks. Water is cheaper and healthier for you.
- Use public transportation.
- Find an job. It is a great way to meet new people and save some money.
- Go to class! Failing a class means you have to pay for it all over again next semester.
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