As the school year approaches, costs of getting a good education are on the minds of students and parents. Tuition, books, supplies and other school-rated expenses are not getting any cheaper and will continue to be barriers to learning.
In order to afford access to a good education and overcome the barriers, students and parents must select to either find avenues to pay for the increasing costs (without going into debt) or cut costs associated with attending school. Each avenue does have its advantages and disadvantages, however; a decision must be made for the short and long term.
If you find that is it best to reduce costs, consider the following eight strategies:
1. Evaluate Your Course Load
Tuition is the main cost that students and parents must face at the beginning of each semester. Although students should complete their studies as soon as possible, taking on the appropriate course load will aid in managing the cost. If you discovered that a full-time course load was too much to handle based on your overall performance at school, reduce the amount of courses that you plan to register for next semester. The money that is not spent on the courses can be used for other expenses or be kept in the bank.
2. Buy Second Hand Textbooks
New school books are very expensive and buying second hand books should be a must for students looking to cut costs at the beginning of each semester. Using various websites and bulletin boards at school, you can find individuals looking to sell their used books at a discounted price. In addition, purchasing used textbooks may contain highlighted information which will make studying easier over the semester.
3. Budget For Social Occasions
Even though attending school is about getting an education, it provides students with ample social occasions to meet with their peers. It is important to remember that some of the occasions come with out-of-pocket expenses. As a result, it is recommended that students select the right event to attend without breaking a budget. (Consider using a spreadsheet program to budget and forecast potential costs for each event.)
4. Eat Better
Eating at the school cafeteria and nearby restaurants can be expensive throughout the semester. Consider taking leftovers for meals and buying groceries to bring healthier lunches and snacks. Eating better can help you save money on a monthly basis. Consider the amount of money that you spend on junk food and drinks at school.
5. Forget About Fashion
Going to school is about learning and not about demonstrating your sense of fashion. Buying a new pair of nice jeans should not be a priority when you must buy a textbook for a perquisite course. Any money that you had planned to spend on clothing should be stay in your bank account for school-related expenses.
6. Do Not Pay Bank Fees
As a student that is enrolled in a post-secondary institution, you are eligible for a student bank account at your financial institution. A student bank account permits you to conduct transactions for free. This will allow you to pay for books and other school related expenses via your debit card without incurring any fees. (Ask at your bank for the appropriate account that will fit your needs.)
7. Find Alternative Means of Transportation
Getting to and from school can be expensive depending on where you live. Whether it be by car or public transportation, you should attempt to reduce these transportation expenses. A possible strategy is to bike to school in months that the weather is nice which will allow you to pay less for gas or a transit pass during a semester.
8. Consider Shopping At Dollar Stores
For students shopping for school supplies, consider purchasing items at a dollar store. Everything from rulers to notebooks is available at discounted prices on a consistent basis.
Cutting cost for school is a necessity for individuals who wish to obtain an affordable education and not go into debt for years to come. Reducing school expenses is not an easy thing to do on a regular basis, however; with the right approach, students and parents will have less of a burden of paying school related expenses at the beginning of each semester.