Identify Costs To Help Curtail Them
There’s no way for you to save if you don’t know where you’re losing resources. You’ve got to identify where there’s elasticity in expenses to know where costs can be curtailed. Which expenses are ironclad, and which are subject to your own discipline?
Let’s take a close look at collegiate costs, and see where there’s some wiggle room. Obviously you can’t cut the tuition of whichever institution you’ve chosen. This cost is actually likely to rise. The lowest you’ll find in the US is around $3.5k at a community college, to $45k+ at ivy-league institutions. So baseline, you’re out $14k to $180k for your entire tuition.
Now when it comes to educational materials, you can cut thousands out of the budget just by going with second-hand materials. Don’t buy textbooks new, even if the professor insists you need the “latest addition”. Use the internet to source information in newer editions if you must, but don’t believe the professor if he or she insists on you buying a new book. That’s a racket.
No, what you want to do is buy textbooks that are used, or just plain use the web. Why? New books are between $100 and $200. You’re not going to read them all the way through, and after college you’re never going to look at them again; even if they’ve got sentimental value, they’re more likely to just reside in a box hidden at the back of some closet.
But if you do buy new textbooks, you can sell them after the fact. You can likely get at least fifty percent of your initial costs back. If you’re smart about it, you can purchase books cheaply and sell them again. If you’re going to do that, you’ll want an agency that doesn’t have any costs involved, reaches a large number of buyers, and allows two-way purchasing.
You want to be able to buy books at used rates, and sell them to as many possible purchases as you can—this will ensure you get the best price for your own used materials. When you’re looking to resell textbooks online, a site that doesn’t charge you to do so like bookscouter.com: “…helps you sell textbooks and used books for the most money.”
Additional Areas Where You Can Consolidate Expenses
Other areas where you can save include housing, travel, and food expenses. There are government programs like FAFSA that will help fund your education, and there are also scholarship opportunities which can be sourced from a variety of locations. In a nutshell: there is money out there, you’ve just got to be proactive about sourcing it.
Do your own cooking, you’ll save over fast food costs. You’re likely going to have an opportunity to eat at a collegiate cafeteria, but you can actually save more if you live off-campus in a shared housing situation and source your own food. That said, you’ll be getting a large dose of adulthood. Shared living isn’t easy—perhaps one reason it’s cost-effective.
Still, if you ride a bicycle, live with roommates, do your own cooking, obtain FAFSA funding, buy and sell used education materials, source scholarships, and choose a collegiate institution whose tuition isn’t unrealistic, it’s conceivable that you could cut total college expenses down to less than $10k a year. Work while studying, you can get it done sans debt.
Most people aren’t going to have this experience. Most colleges are very costly, and most students more interested in partying than they are in studying. Remember this: the pedigree of your education is no indicator of the effectiveness of your education. There are community college options that will better prepare you for life than expensive options. It’s up to you.