Many students are graduating from College with debt exceeding $25,000!
Is it possible to save money in college? Very much so. We have covered this topic many times and are here once again to find some answers.
Imagine the excitement you feel when you have completed a rigorous program. Now imagine having to begin your career in a deficit of 25 grand. There is nothing wrong with taking loans to complete your studies because not everyone is fortunate enough to have their education costs covered.
If you’re in a position similar to mine where you have to fund your own education, then please try to follow these 5 rules to finish school with no debt and even possibly a profit:
1. Live at home.
By living at home you’ll save so much money by not having to worry about rent. If you do not have the luxury of living at home then I suggest you rent an apartment with a few people to reduce the costs.
2. Bring your own lunch.
There will be days where you are at school all day and you will need to purchase food. Make sure that on those days you have prepared a lunch, either from home or from the local grocery store. To have no credit card debt you are definitely going to have to leave the plastic at home and bring the brown bag to school.
3. Decrease your partying costs.
Regardless of the program you are in or what you say before you attend the school, everyone in school will party. There are so many simple ways to save on partying, the simplest being consuming beers from a local liquor store before going to the bar or by going to bars on college nights. Another simple way to save on partying is by going to the events on campus, whether they are frat jams or pub nights.
4. Buy used textbooks or share.
Obviously the best method is to purchase used textbooks and share them with friends. My personal method is to ensure that there is at least one person with the same schedule as me so that we could share textbooks and save tons of money.
5. Choose a program that has work terms.
This is the most important method that will definitely ensure you finish your studies at least at the breakeven point. I cannot stress how important this method is for the many benefits it offers. Not only will you have a chance to earn money but you will gain valuable experience in your field. Trade schools are the best for this because you often alternate between work and school terms. Many college programs offer great work terms (Nursing, Business, Science, etc.) where you will earn enough money during your work term to pay for the next semester of school.
Remember that it’s your future, if you wish to acquire debt so that you can complete your studies then be my guest. You may have to stress about debt consolidation when all of your various student loans become a burden to try to pay. However, if you are willing to apply this valuable advice to your life so that you can begin your career without worrying about massive amounts of debt then this articles for you.
Any clever ways to finish school with no debt that I missed? Anyone have any reasons for not being able to apply this advice? We want you to know how to save money in college by now!
9 thoughts on “No Debt When Graduating From College Advice”
I have another suggestion that will decrease your college costs (which then allows for diverted money to be put towards starting a side business or invested for the future).
Usually students don’t take full schedules! A college allows you to take, for example, 21 credits a semester and it’s covered by your tuition. If you take 16 credits, you’re leaving money on the table. If you loaded up on classes, not only are you taking full advantage of your education, but you might be able to graduate a semester early – and then really save some money! Of course, this requires certain sacrifices for time and also lots of self-motivation.
Since I went to a private and expensive college, by graduating a semester early, I saved around $20,000.
I would add keeping your grades up and looking hard to scholarship money to this list. I go to school at Georgia, where you can get a good education for $0 tuition if you keep above a 3.0 average. The kids who party a lot are probably the same kids who think that they just need Cs and Ds to get a diploma. Keeping a B average isn’t that hard, but tons of kids lose their scholarship.
I think I might like the theme enough for the comments-in-a-weird-place to be worth it
Living at home saves money, but it might really keep you feeling separated from college life. I guess you could also write a post on why living at home is not that bad.
I plan to move in with my mom when I graduate though, because it’s stupid to pay $600/month rent when we live in the same place. I finally felt comfortable with living with my parents while I work after I lived in Mexico for 6 months and saw how normal it is there.
I think the American culture that makes people think they need their own place is pretty wasteful. Of course, the Mexican parents seemed more understanding about their kids going out and partying too.
Let me tell you first hand that living at home is probably the MAIN reason I have saved a lot of money and obtained higher grades than most of my friends. It is kind of akward to go out drinking on a random night when you live at home with your parents and younger siblings. A few of my friends have gotten apartments to live in together, and believe me it was a disaster.
Regardless of how “uncool” something is when you are in your early 20s, you will be the happiest person when you are in mid 20s working towards your financial goals without the though of debt constantly clogging your mind
I agree with living at home but only if it is really feasible. The reason I say this is that I didn’t have much of a choice. One reason is that the university that is close to my home doesn’t offer my chosen field of study and the second reason is that it has one of the worst reputations in the whole of the UK. For these reasons I had to move away but it’s true that I didn’t really need to pick a university in central london BUT it is the best uni for my field of study and also is a brilliant place to build up connections.
The most key thing during your years of study is a BUDGET! Not only will your loan be stretched but you can also develop necessary skills for budgeting when you start earning a wage. It’s good to start as early as possible with this one as it took me a good 3 years to hone it down to my specific needs and realistic expectations. There is an abundance of sites out there with advice about budgeting but it would be great if you the STUDENOMIST could write about how you budget. It’s always nice to get a fresh perspective!
I think this post is great for those just starting to get to grips with university/college and financial responsibility. In future, I agree that a breakdown of each subject would be good for those that want a little more advice on how to stay on task.
For example: Make packed lunches could develop on how to develop basic cooking/safety skills on a budget. Avoiding takeaways (especially after a night out) and excess treats at home. Fruit is always cheaper than packaged items and is also a lot healthier.
You get the idea and I can tell that when the site is officially launched that the articles will be more detailed.
I would also say as a bit of advice on the side that people should use this time to build up good organisational skills meaning that they always have enough time to review finances. A lot of people I speak to say they just don’t have the time to check they’re on budget but it takes me about 10 mins a week (admittedly I spend a few hours every week when I have the time to shop around for the best savings accounts and investing opportunities) but for the basics it really does not take much time at all and you really will reap all of the benefits.
So far, so good!
Yes I agree that for my content to be relevant I should discuss how I personally set my own budget. I will get into this subject as soon as I gain more readers and people start to truly apply my concepts to their own life. Many people tend to read personal finance blogs, agree with the material but they never seem to actually apply it. Reading something is easy, applying it to your own life is the hard part. I will admit that sometimes I do not follow my own rules, but no one is perfect. The key is moderation, I see no problem with going for a few drinks once in a while, especially after a tough exam or long assignment.
As for the no time for finances excuse. What can I say? It is just another excuse for people not taking accountability for their problems. You going to blame a credit card for giving you a loan? They never forced you to use the money, that was your own choice. There is always time to look over your finances. On your way to school, in between classes, during a boring lecture (better than drawing I guess), or first thing in the morning.
I applied nearly all of these to my education (the living at home part later on), and it helped some. I have to admit – I’m graduating in two months with $40,000 in debt!
Sometimes, it’s hard to avoid. And sometimes, you’re 17 when you sign the loan paperwork and it isn’t until you’re 19 that you realize how much of a hole you’ve made for yourself. I’ve done what I can to make the best of it, but that’s another story/blog.
I’m going to be going to college full time this Fall, and working full time. My aunt gave me the greatest tip. A few years ago, she needed a few courses to keep current. I don’t remember the whole story, except that she works in the med field so she needs to keep current in certain areas. So one of her classes was Psych and a med class. For her psych class, she only read the foot notes and passed with an A. For her med class, she said her book was going to cost $700 and she couldn’t afford it. So what she did, was during the days she had her Psych class was go to the college library and copy the pages she needed to read for her assignments. She saved herself $700, and she passed the class with a B.
I forgot to mention.. I did the same thing with my Psych class when I was in the Army and somehow passed. Even my final essay, which I had no clue in, I got an A!