When starting college for the first time you don’t really anticipate on spending money for everything. No matter what major you decide to study, books will always be a hassle. Your school bookstore will sell the books for an unreasonable price and if you order the books from a website, it will be much harder for you to sell them to the bookstore at the end of the semester for a little pocket cash.

Late-night weekends with your friends can burn a hole in your pockets as well. You all are buying pizza, snacks and drinks to consume throughout the night; however, you don’t realize that your bank account is getting closer to the negatives with every swipe.

Every student does not have a liking for campus food, so they are buying take out or groceries to cook which is contributing to the decrease in their bank account. We are also paying for music and streaming sources every month. Netflix and Hulu subscriptions add up to over $100 at the end of the year; as well as Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal added on to that amount.

Each month, we are back at a Walmart buying toiletries and other necessary items that we use daily. Soap, toothpaste and shampoo are just some of the monthly expenditures.

“College is not cheap,” is most likely the understatement of the century. When attending a university, tuition must be paid if you don’t want a hold on your account that prevents you from signing up for classes and even ordering transcripts.

This tuition amount can be anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Financial aid thinks our parent’s whole income goes to tuition, so they don’t grant us much assistance. We end up paying for school out of pocket and/or in thousands of dollars in debt.

College may be the most expensive thing we’ve experienced in our first-adult years. Being a preparation for after graduation. However, there may be some things we can do to make it a little easier for us while we are away studying our major.

Buying textbooks from Amazon or Chegg can save you more money than buying them in your school’s bookstore. At the end of the semester, you can sell that book back on Amazon to someone else or to an incoming freshman.

Having girl’s night every weekend will hurt your pockets. Limit yourself. Have girl’s night once or twice a month instead of every weekend. You can even split the costs evenly. Everyone can put in the same set amount and buy what you can buy with that amount of money.

If you’re one that does not have a taste for campus dining, and you buy food to cook, make portions for yourself. Only buy food once a week and make set meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week. You can even mix and match your protein with your vegetables and starch.

Everyone loves listening to music ad free. You can now get Spotify and Hulu for $5 a month if you’re a student. You are getting music and a streaming source for one-fourth the price. You can save money while listening to all your favorite songs or watching your favorite shows.

When it is time to restock on toiletries, use coupons. They may seem like a lot of work to find and cut out, but it will be worth it. You will be able to buy what you need without breaking the bank.
You could even get a job on campus. They work around your schedule, so you would be able to make money while still being able to get your work done and focus on your studies.

It is really hard to find scholarships that aren’t nationwide and don’t have thousands of people competing for one scholarship. It would be best to try to find not so well-known companies or businesses that offer scholarships. This can be a great way to handle tuition bills without having to pay out of pocket.

College can either make you or break you. Finding the right resources and the cheapest ways to do things without it being a last resort is essential to today’s college life. Look for multiple alternatives before choosing the first option you see.

Email Tamiyha Carter at opinions@cardinalpointsonline.com

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