Seven Ways College Students Waste Money

Going to college is expensive, no doubt about it. Between textbooks, tuition, housing, utilities, and maintaining a social life, managing your money can be challenging. So, here are a few habits to avoid if you want to save more of your money.

1. Buy new textbooks

College textbook prices have increased faster than tuition, healthcare costs, housing prices, and inflation. You can cut this expense by buying used books online through Amazon or Half Price Books, or renting through sites like Chegg, Campus Book Rentals, or Campus Books.

2. Carry a credit card balance

If you use a credit card, only charge what you’re able to pay off in full each month. If you’re already carrying a balance, consider transferring the balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate and no or low annual fees. Madison County Federal Credit Union offers a credit card with 2% cashback rewards. Apply here. Select VISA from the drop down.

3. Go out to eat

If you spend on average $6 for breakfast daily and $12 on lunch or dinner, you will fork out $90 for 5 days of food. Instead, buy $90 worth of groceries and you’ll eat for a month.

4. Go to bars for fun

Drinking can be a very expensive habit. On average, college students spend $900 a year on alcohol. The cost goes up if you get hit with a ticket for drinking underage or driving while intoxicated. Instead of going to bars, have fun inexpensively by going to student union events, bowling, or cooking dinner with friends.

5. Own a vehicle

If you live on or near campus, having a car is a needless expense. By avoiding monthly car and insurance payments, parking fees, as well as gas and maintenance expenses, you’ll save over $20,000 during your 4 years at college. Consider using public transportation, getting a bicycle, or walking. And if a car is a necessity, consider a safe, late-model, used car financed with a credit union car loan.

6. Buy a daily latte

A latte at $4 a day adds an extra $120 to your monthly expenses. Instead, buy a coffeemaker, a pound of coffee, and a travel mug and you’ll be able to brew a month’s worth of coffee for a fraction of that cost.

7. Live alone

Save on housing and utility costs by sharing an apartment with a couple of friends.

Questions? Call us at 765.644.3623 or send us a message