Saturday, October 16, 2010

Easy Frugality Tips for College Students

Today, I'm glad to share a guest post from Mark Macaluso who writes about Masters programs in accounting. I usually share frugal tips more relevant to parents, but Mike shared some good tips that are relevant for the younger crowd- thrifty tips for college students. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did.

There are many reasons for college students to be thrifty, and the most important of them is that they cannot afford to get deep into debt even before they’ve graduated. For those of them who have the burden of student loans to carry, careless spending could add to their woes. So that’s why it’s necessary to adopt frugality right from the beginning, before too much damage is done. However, college students don’t like the fact that they have to tighten their purse strings and bring down their spending. So if you belong to this group, here are a few easy to follow frugality tips that do you a world of good:

Ride a bike: Instead of using a car to get around, invest in a bicycle – you not only save on gas money and car maintenance costs, you also get your daily dose of exercise when you ride your bike on campus and around town. Sure it’s nice to own a car, but when you think of the amount you save, you’re better off with a bike. You don’t have to walk long distances or shell out for public transportation or a cab. It’s a win-win situation all the way.
Stay away from the vices: As a college student, you’re going to have your share of drinking binges at parties; but it’s best to avoid spending too much on booze and cigarettes. If someone else is paying, go ahead and have a good time. Just don’t get into the habit of drinking and smoking regularly – they’re both detrimental to both your health and your bank balance.
Get through college faster: If you’re wondering how this could be considered a frugality tip, read on – when you finish college faster, you not only save on tuition costs, but also on boarding and food costs for the extra time you spend in college. As an added advantage, you get to graduate early and get a job sooner than your peers.
Spend your time wisely: It may seem like too much responsibility at first, but a part-time job helps you in more ways than one – it brings in some much needed money, it helps you spend your time wisely and stay out of trouble and temptation, and you learn to manage your time effectively. If you can find a job on campus, there’s nothing like it because you don’t have to spend time commuting to and from your work place. However, even if you find a job outside college, make time for it because it’s worth the effort.
Use credit cards wisely: Credit cards are a blessing in more ways than one if you use them wisely – they not only help you defer payment on your loans (the money you spend using your credit card is a temporary loan which you must pay back in FULL every month) for a month or more, they also help you build good credit history. So use your cards if you must, but pay your bills on time and in full every month.

Most college students are ashamed of the fact that they have to scrimp and save every penny; however, the fact that you’re able to keep your spending in check and graduate without debt is one of the most significant achievements of your college life, so hold your head high that you have what it takes to spend only within your means and avoid debt of any kind.

This guest post is contributed by Mark Macaluso, he writes on the topic of Masters in Accounting Programs . He welcomes your comments at his email id: mark.macaluso985 at gmail dot com.

Were you thrifty when you were in college? What thrifty tips can you add to Mark's list that can help college students save money

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