Tag Archives | costs

Struggling Student? 3 Ways To Cut College Costs

Image by Bonnie Kittle, unsplash.com

Going to college can be one of the best investments that you make in your future. However, that doesn’t mean you want to spend more than you can afford today. What are some easy and effective ways to cut costs without sacrificing the quality of your education?

Live At Home Instead Of At School
While it may be fun and exciting to live on campus and be free of your parents’ rules, it may be best to live at home if you are looking to save money. In many cases, you have to buy a meal plan and pay other fees in addition to the cost of actually living in a dorm. Therefore, you may be spending thousands of dollars per semester on things that you don’t need or don’t actually use.

Assuming that you live close enough to school to commute from home, there is no reason why you can’t still be active in campus life. It shouldn’t be too hard to take part in clubs, go to sporting events or attend parties with your friends who still live in the dorms.

Have Electronics Repaired Instead Of Buying New Equipment
If your laptop breaks or your tablet stops working, it may be worthwhile to have it looked at by a professional like those at Contec Direct. Instead of paying $1,000 for a new computer or tablet, you could have existing problems fixed for $100 or so. To keep repair costs down in the future, you may want to buy a service plan if one is offered by a local repair shop.

Look For Grants, Scholarships Or Work-Study Opportunities
A grant or scholarship goes directly toward paying the cost of your college education, and you don’t have to pay the money back at any point in the future. Work-study programs allow you to work 10-20 hours a week in a research lab, computer lab or library in exchange for financial aid. Working as an RA in the dorms or elsewhere on campus may entitle you to free room and board for as long as you keep that role.

It is difficult to escape the cost of college tuition. Unless you are an athlete or have been saving your entire life, it is likely that you will have some debt when you graduate. However, good planning today can help you keep costs down in an effort to make your education as affordable as possible today and in the long run.

This article was contributed by guest author Emma Sturgis.

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3 Ways to Save Money at School

Saving Money Image by Scott Waldron, Flickr

Image by Scott Waldron, Flickr

School can be expensive — and that’s not even counting tuition. I found myself blowing away a lot of money during my first year of university on things that I could have easily saved an extra few bucks on, which (believe me), adds up. I spent excessively partly due to the nature of post-secondary education and my own circumstances— which meant textbooks, commuting, and buying food. Despite needing to spend a lot more than when I was in high school, I decided to cut back after my first year of university ended. For those of you who are about to go to college or university, or are spending way too much in school, here are some tips for saving money:

  1. Make or Bring Your Own Food

  2. Sure, the five dollar price tag on that Tim Horton’s sandwich may not sound like much, but get it five days a week and you’re out 25 bucks. Monthly, this would cost $100 dollars, and $300+ for a school term. Instead of buying food on campus, try preparing your own food and bringing it from home. In a similar vein, avoid buying coffee. Try making it at home and bringing it in a travel mug.

  3. Make Some Changes to Your Commute

  4. Using public transportation can add up. For example, a one-way Toronto transit fare is $3 – pile on another $3 for a return trip and you’re at $6, totalling $30 for a full week of classes and $120 for a month’s worth. If you live reasonably close and the weather is nice, try walking or cycling to class instead. For those of you who have no choice but to take the bus or subway, consider investing in a Post-Secondary Student Metropass if you have regular classes — it costs $99 and requires photo identification to be taken. More details can be found on the TTC website. Monthly passes are also tax-deductible, so that might help you save a bit more too. If you drive to campus, compare your parking and gas costs with those of public transportation to see which one has larger savings for your wallet.

  5. Scour the Internet (and Other Places) for Discounts

  6. This one is fairly evident. According to stats quoted by the Globe and Mail, the average Canadian postsecondary student spends about $500 to $1,000 on textbooks and course materials each semester. That’s a hefty amount, which is why there are many other ways to acquire textbooks. Search for places to trade or buy used textbooks, such as Toronto University Student’s Book Exchange, or Rye Books. Other options are even more general classified ad sites such as Craigslist or Kijiji. Try keeping an eye and ear out for potential sales or trades on your campus as well.

    Do you have more money-saving tips? Tweet us @StudentsDotOrg!