University studies are expensive, but with some planning, budgeting, and simple tips, you’ll discover that funding an education might be easier than you think. Whether you’re saving for yourself or saving for your children, the following tips will help make sure you can pay for one of the most important investments you’ll ever make.
Track Monthly Expenses And Set A Budget
When it comes to saving fees for college, a great place to get started is by tracking your monthly expenses for a couple of months. Don’t necessarily spend differently than you normally do, but track where your money is going. That means saving every receipt and tracking every purchase. Each month put the money that you’ve cut back from other expenditures into a savings account for college.
Avoid Using Credit Cards
Whether you’re gearing up for college yourself or you’re a parent saving for your children, you can greatly benefit from avoiding the high fees associated with credit cards. The bottom line is that while credit cards can be very convenient, they also cost money. Interest rates, fees and a tendency to overspend with a card can cost valuable dollars that would be better spent by investing in a college savings account.
Start Saving As Early As Possible
Many parents can start investing money for their children’s future as soon as the child is born, although this is obviously not an option that everyone has. But saving even small amounts on a regular basis is better than waiting until it’s time to register for classes. Remember, every penny counts, and scholarships, grants, loans and other financial aid options can help bridge the gap between savings and the actual cost of college.
Consider Work Study And Other On-Campus Jobs
Many colleges & universities offer work-study programs that allow students to work flexible on-campus jobs. The pay for these jobs can be put toward tuition, housing, textbooks, and other costs related to school. The benefit to on-campus jobs are endless – real-world experience, schedules that can be built around classes & other academic obligations, and the convenience of walking to work on campus all make work study opportunities the best option for working through college.
Cut Costs On Campus
There are many ways reduce costs on campus to make college less expensive. Buy used textbooks when possible. Live on or near campus to save on transportation costs. Just by shedding the need for a vehicle, you’ll save on car loan payments, gasoline, insurance, and taxes. Always be mindful of areas to save money and, as always, reinvest that money back into savings for college.