Saturday, February 8, 2014, AM | Leave Comment
Returning to school is an exciting time. There are many possibilities in your future and in your career. There are new people to meet and new experiences to be had. Perhaps you have saved and pinched pennies for a long time to be able to have this opportunity. That is why now is no time to blow your budget and jeopardize your dream and your future education or career.
Education and its related expenses are not cheap, but, if a student is careful there are many ways to return to school and stick to a tight budget. Now more than ever, watching where every penny goes is very important.
Here are some tips to help you decrease your costs and stick to a budget.
Shop Used When Possible
Most all required textbooks can be purchased used. Forgoing brand new books and purchasing gently used ones can save up to 50 percent or even more on your book prices.
Considering many students spend hundreds of dollars each semester just in textbooks, this can be a huge savings over the course of your college career. You can check for used books at your college’s bookstore and other local bookstores. You can also check with other students.
Research shows that the best selection and most savings are available online through used textbook outlets. As an added bonus, at the end of each semester, you can sell your books back to put some money back in your wallet. It is guaranteed to not be nearly what you paid for your books, but it will still be cash in place of a textbook you may never touch again.
Pack Snacks and Lunches
Though vending machines, college cafeteria’s, and nearby eateries may be tasty and convenient, they can produce havoc in your budget.
A couple dollars here and a couple dollars there several days a week will add up quickly, not just on your hips, but also your pocketbook. Before you know it, you will likely have spent a large amount just in outside food each week.
Be smart and pack your own snacks and meals. It may not be a hot meal, but you can pack nutritious and tasty foods for on the go and still stay within your good budget.
These Boots are Made for Walking
Whenever possible, avoid driving to your destination. Instead, walk, bike, or take public transportation. With record gas prices, taking other modes of transportation can do your budget a huge favor, especially over an entire semester or two.
You can also consider carpooling, or even taking online classes so that you do not have to worry about a commute. Walking or biking to your classes and activities is healthy for not only your budget, but your body as well.
Consider Earning an Income
You do not have to work fulltime or take on a traditional job, but consider ways in which you can earn even a few dollars here and there.
If you have a talent or special knowledge in a subject, consider teaching lessons or tutoring. Consider spending some hours babysitting or being a part time nanny.
You can even check with your school to see if they are hiring part time in places like the bookstore or cafeteria. Earning some extra money can also go a long way to keeping your budget healthy while returning to school.
You do not have to be a finance major to realize that as a returning student you must keep a close eye on your budget. Keeping your budget in check, at times, may be painful, but in the long run it will pay large dividends.
Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article, he offers financial advice to student and aims to encourage further study regarding a UC Masters Degree in Education.