College Freshman On A Tight Budget? Tips To Trim Necessary Expenses & Ease The Financial Strain

Going away to college for the first time can be a little frightening. Especially if you are moving hundreds of miles away from the home you have grown up in and will need to maintain a very tight budget in order to cover your school expenses and basic needs, such as food, clothing, and transportation. If you are preparing to start college soon and worried about your finances, the following tips will help you reduce many of your necessary expenses and ease the strain on your finances.

Find a job that includes money saving perks

Carrying a full load of classes, studying and any extracurricular activities you want to participate in will likely not leave a lot of time for earning money so it is very important to look for jobs that offer some type of extra benefit for you. Some ideas include:

  • providing child care services for families willing to include an evening meal or snacks as part of the pay
  • providing live-in elder care, either overnight or on the weekends that offers meals or free room and board, along with the use of laundry appliances, internet access, and phone privileges as part of the pay arrangement
  • providing pet sitting or house sitting services that include food, a sleeping room, and access to the internet and laundry appliances
  • working in a restaurant, deli, or food truck where meals are included during your shift
  • working in a retail clothing or thrift shop that offers employees a significant discount on clothing or other goods
  • working in a grocery or other store that offers discounts on food purchases
  • working in a mechanic shop or auto maintenance business that offers free or discounted oil changes, car washes, and routine maintenance

Look for ways to trim transportation expenses

It is also possible to save even more money by doing some or all of the following things to slash your transportation expenses:

  • opt to drive a basic used car that requires only the minimum insurance amount required by law in the state where you will be going to school
  • split driving duties among fellow students if possible, to reduce the wear on your tires, battery and your fuel and maintenance costs
  • use public transportation, walk or bike when possible to save even more money
  • opt for used auto parts when auto repairs or maintenance is needed

To ensure that your mechanic gives you the best price, ask for a repair quote the includes only the cost of the labor and allows you to shop for and purchase the used auto parts required for the repair. Companies like Southwest Auto Salvage may be able to help.