By Chamia Bannerman
Saving money and making budgets work can be a difficult task for anyone.
However, the challenges and temptations in college make the struggles that much harder.
“It is very hard to save money,” says William Peace University student Asia Sanchez. “Especially when you are paying tuition and other bills too.”
But there are many ways a college student can go about saving a buck or two for rainy days or toward that item you really got to have.
One way to save money starting out is with student loans. “Don’t get them if you really do not need them,” explains college mom Furonda Manneh. ”If you can go to school without the loan and getting a part-time job to help you pay, then do that instead.”
If you cannot avoid getting student loans try to get a subsidized loan, which don’t start building interest until after a student graduates.
A good way to save money and make sure your money actually goes where you need it, is to immediately pay off bills and necessities when you get your paycheck. Then you can make plans for the money you have left over. Always put some away, even if it is just five dollars. It adds up quickly if you do not touch it. The rest of the money is for you to do with what you will.
Remember, there are many activities you can do without spending a dime. For example, Raleigh is home to many free events and festivals. Or, if you are more into nightlife, there are plenty of bars and clubs that offer special deals such as ladies’ night where females get in free.
You can always make your own entertainment as well. Organize a scavenger hunt through downtown Raleigh with your friends to all your favorite spots. The game could end in a little picnic somewhere, or maybe the winning group gets a free meal, paid for by the losing groups. Games can be a fun, free way to spend time with friends.
Coupons can also represent a few extra bucks that stay in your pocket. A good place to get some is Coupons.com, where you can print out coupons for groceries. Take advantage of group buying sites as well , such as Living Social and Groupon. These sites offer daily deals on everything from oil changes, to restaurants and spas.
With a little creativity, you can find ways that can save you money – and every bit makes a difference in the long run.