Practical Tips for Saving Money at College

Practical Tips for Saving Money at College

College expenses can be overwhelming, and tuition is by no means the only thing that must be considered when planning, budgeting or trying to make it through the school year. Here are a number of tips to help you find areas in which you can save some money –

Most college students eat more than their fair share of fast food and other convenience, pre-packaged foods. Keep in mind how quickly your food budget will be blown when you spend your money on these items. It literally takes 10 minutes to cook pasta and heat up some crushed tomatoes with garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and perhaps some crushed red pepper blended in, for a quick pomodoro sauce. There are more quick and easy meal ideas than you can possibly imagine available online. Try entering “recipes less than five ingredients” or “quick meals for two” into a search engine and take a bit of time to try out the ones that sound the best to you. Of course the ubiquitous college food – pizza – isn’t just for nourishment, it’s also a social activity and can’t be foregone completely! Pick up free campus publications when you see them here and there, as they usually contain really good coupons for commonly ordered in foods such as pizza, wings, Chinese, etc. Also, keep the notorious “freshman 15” in mind (it’s not just freshman who are susceptible to them!).

Now let’s talk caffeine. You probably feel it’s a very necessary fix after an all night study session or when you’re sleepwalking across campus to an early class. If you spend just $4 per latte, cappuccino, or whatever your favorite variety, each time you crave a pick-me-up, depending on your habit, you can easily, and quickly, wreck your weekly budget. You can purchase a coffee maker that brews a single cup at the time for about $20 on the popular mass merchandise website Some models even come with a travel mug so you can make your coffee and take it with you. There are all sorts of flavored infusions, creamers, and other “coffee condiments” that you can buy when you’re at the grocery store doing your food shopping, so you’ll have options other than plain coffee, too. If you tend to meet friends to study or pass the time at the coffee shop, invest in one of the refillable mugs which are offered in almost every shop. When you bring it in, you can get refills for a lot less than you would pay otherwise.

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Purchase textbooks used whenever possible, and look for other options such as “binder ready books” which are printed pages, hole punched and ready to be added to a large, three-ring binder. Some courses/majors can require a lot of expensive supplies. For example, a photography student might have to purchase specialized equipment that can be well outside of the typical college students’ budget. If you know that you fall into this category, plan ahead and do some investigating to find out what sort of supplies might be called for. This will give you time to save money toward their purchase, or even to tell family and friends to remember your supplies list when gift shopping for holidays and special occasions.

A lot of this advice is common sense, hopefully at least some of it will make you think “oh, great idea!” and help you save money in the long run. Enjoy your college years and do your best!

This article is by Amy Johnson for Advance Me Inc. Proud to be America’s leading merchant cash advance provider.

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When it comes to finances and being human we all make mistakes, it’s only natural. However, the consequences of the mistakes we made are sure to haunt us. One of the hardest mistakes to manage is a mistake in financial decisions. Sometimes, we think we’ve made a good investment or we think we’re spending only slightly over our means but then our assumptions can easily turn into the biggest mistakes we ever made. Before we know it, we would be unable to make payments, we’re going to face foreclosures and creditors would be making our lives living hells. It’s a choice of either letting yourself suffer through all this or ending it all through seeking free bankruptcy help and actually filing one.

Bankruptcy may be a very undesirable option but when you know in that the only other options left is trying to win the lottery or robbing a bank, you’ve got to do it. You can relieve yourself of your financial burdens gradually if you’d only be given a fresh start and bankruptcy is often the only answer. Of course you’ll have to think of legal fees but you have to understand lawyers are professionally bound to provide clients who are financially hard-up with their legal services. Pro Bono or free legal services are recommended by the American Bar Association for all attorneys and these services should amount to at least 50 hours annually.

There are organizations that provide free legal assistance if you would but search. If you plan to approach a private lawyer, however, explain your situation truthfully and then ask if he or she can waive the fees completely. If the bankruptcy attorney refuses, ask for a reference or if he or she can provide you with names of other attorneys or organizations that can help you with your case. For certain, there’s an organization or attorney willing to provide you with free bankruptcy help.

You can also try looking for state and county bar associations in the local phone directory in order to find yourself legal representation. Many such associations have their own pro bono programs for individuals who can’t pay legal fees. If you happen to have contacted an organization who does pro bono work but do not have an attorney available for you at the moment, they would most likely refer you to other organizations listed in your area that provide free legal assistance.

It is not hard to find free bankruptcy help but you have to be diligent as there are a lot of people seeking for free legal assistance each day and legal advocates may run short. If you still have some means to pay but in some less haggard payment scheme, try arranging one with an attorney. As before, explain your situation and try to negotiate if you can pay some amount every month until you have fully paid the fees due. Some attorneys agree to holding off on full retainer and settling for payment plans. It will allow you to hire a lawyer without having to pay a large amount upfront.