Saving on Essential Expenses in College

Common expenditures, even for essentials, can become overwhelming, especially on a college-student budget. To help shave meaningful dollars off your spending, the money-saving experts at Solavei have put together simple tips for reducing common bills.

Every dollar counts for college students on a tight budget. Hidden fees, unnecessary features, unwillingness to shop around and surprise fees can add significant dollars to essential expenses.

Reducing output can be simple, if you know the right steps to take. The tips below will help consolidate and reduce recurring expenses, freeing up cash for savings or more likely the experiences that make college years more memorable.

Credit cards

In dire financial straights during college, students can be tempted to turn to credit cards. If used responsibly and not seen as free money, credit cards can be an excellent way to build a credit score for young people. The most important practices to remember with credit cards are paying on time and paying more than the minimum balance. Rewards cards can have appealing incentives for spending, but only use those cards if you pay your balance in full monthly to avoid accruing high interest charges. Once you’ve established a good payment history with your credit card issuer, ask for an interest rate reduction. Companies like to keep quality cardholders, so they will be receptive to lowering your interest rate and saving you money.

Phone plan

We all need to have a phone – they are the lifelines in our connected world today. Most people have already dropped landline phones to save money, but we are all still calling, texting and using data on wireless phones. Traditional mobile phone plans typically lock you into a contract for two years and charge exorbitant monthly rates, often with surprise overage charges. To decrease monthly phone expenses, consider a pre-paid, contract-free plan such as Solavei. For $49 per month, Solavei Mobile Service offers unlimited calling, texting and data, as well as the opportunity to earn monthly recurring income by sharing your Solavei experience with family and friends through Solavei’s social sharing outreach platform.

Book purchases

Books are one of the most essential, and often most expensive, purchases of the semester. Many students head straight to the school bookstore, spending an unnecessary fortune. In order to increase your savings, check out the web’s famed discount sites including Amazon, Chegg, and eBay.  These sites allow for both purchase and rent. After the semester’s over, you can also sell your books back on these sites, earning income to pay for the upcoming year’s books.

Extracurricular activities

When looking to spend a few dollars on food, clothes or entertainment, search no further than that student ID you have hidden in your wallet. Restaurants and retail stores often reward college students with discounts just for attending school.  Plus, many universities have predetermined deals with establishments in the community that allow you to use your student ID for various purchases.

Cable bill

Television might not be a basic human need, but it’s definitely a basic entertainment need. Cable and satellite TV bills can get extremely high, especially after introductory prices expire. Premium television alternatives like Hulu Plus, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video charge as little as $7.99 per month and offer movies and television from most networks. Using Roku, a Wi-Fi enabled Blu-Ray player, or almost any gaming console; these videos services can be streamed directly to your TV.

Small changes that may seem insignificant can add up to thicken your wallet. Without a great shock to your lifestyle, adjusting spending and living habits will save you hard-earned cash and free up disposable income for the more enjoyable activities that make up college life.

This guest post was submitted by Allyn Hebner, Head of Finance at Solavei.

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