When it comes to college debt, most of us immediately think of student loans. But, there’s another culprit out there, and it’s costing co-eds thousands. What, you might ask? Every day credit card debt!
Many seniors are graduating with $5,000 in the red – in addition to their loans! So, how can students enter the “real world” without doubling up on their debt? It starts with making smart money choices every day.
1. Buy Used Books Or Electronic Textbooks
Some schools even offer free textbooks, so if you’ve got offers from similar schools, look into these types of cost savers to help you make your final choice. Start at the campus bookstore to see which books you need for each course and what price they are charging for new and used copies. Then, visit a site such as chegg.com or bookrenter.com to see if you can get the same books at a lower price. Make sure to check the details to ensure that you’re comparing the correct edition — you don’t want to waste your money on a book that isn’t quite right.
2. Eat In The Dorm
You may get bored, but the cost per meal is usually much lower than at nearby restaurants. Splurge once a week or so with friends to keep things fun. And, consider making your splurge meal at lunch time rather than dinner, which usually offers smaller plates at lower prices. (Of course, if you’ve got a fridge and microwave in your dorm, you can stretch a bigger dinner into two meals.)
3. Don’t Drive
Your student ID may get you free public transportation, so take advantage and keep the car at home or in your campus parking space as much as possible to minimize gas and parking costs.
4. Take Advantage Of Campus Freebies
Free movie nights in the quad? Recreation center for students only? Parties in the student union? Yes, please. These free entertainment options save a ton of money on ticket prices and transportation, as many are accessible by walking. If you do go off campus, try to hit places that are close by, so you can take advantage of the free safe ride services offered by many colleges or share a ride service with friends. Money transfer apps such as PopMoney (in DuGood’s online banking service) or Sprig let you send funds to friends to cover your share.
5. Get A Coffee Maker For Your Dorm Room
Not only will you save money, you’ll also save time waiting in those long lines before morning classes. Find coffee shop recipes online or in the book, Money Shots: How to Save Cash on Your Coffee Habit While Still Feeling Full and Satisfied. That way, you can make all of the fun, flavored drinks you like without spending $5 per cup — and wasting half an hour in line before class. You can use that time to get in a little extra sleep or studying in the morning.
How DuGood Can Help
You shouldn’t have to graduate downing in debt! Here are a few ways DuGood helping college students just like you.
- Download our College Savings Guide.
- Get a head start and enter or annual Scholarship Giveaway.
- Be sure to use your DuGood debit card for your daily purchases. You can earn Scholarship Rewards that can be redeemed for books, tuitions, dorm life, and more.