As a college student, you’re probably used to having a less-than-full wallet. The experts at UW Credit Union say the good news is you can start saving money by avoiding these 10 common money wasters. You might be surprised how much things can add up!
Rent is one of the biggest expenses throughout college and can even add up to more than tuition! Stick to the necessities and avoid luxury living. Plus, you can save thousands of dollars by sharing a room. It may seem like a slight inconvenience, but the money saved can be well worth it.
Daily Coffee Trips
Is that $3 cup of coffee every day really worth it? This can add up to $90 a month or over $1,000 every year! Buy a coffee pot to brew your own at home to save.
Eating out can be pricey! Stick to only going out for special occasions and you’ll be surprised how much you can save. Plus, other social activities like sororities or student organizations can get expensive with things like clothing and fun activities. Take advantage of the free student activities available on campus or prioritize which activities are most important to you in order to get the college experience without emptying your wallet.
Why pay for cash when you could avoid the fees? UW Credit Union gives you access to thousands of free ATMs available nationwide, so don’t settle for paying a fee.
That Second Senior Year
From the start of your college career, look into the amount of credits you need to take each semester in order to finish in four years. Utilize your academic advisor to see how they can help you stay on track to graduate. Taking an extra class is probably worth it when the cost of staying for five years is 25% more than staying for four.
As tempting as spring break vacation can be, especially in the Midwest, think of it as a luxury, not a necessity. A week off of school can be great no matter where you spend it! Plan a few fun activities near home instead of paying for a pricy getaway. If you really want to escape the Midwest, look into student volunteer trips or visit companies in order to build your resume.
Not Pulling the Plug
Even when you aren’t using them, your chargers and other electronics are using energy while they are plugged in. According to Kiplinger, you could save around $100 every year by pulling the plug when an electronic is off or not in use.
Buying Brand Names
Whether it is groceries, clothing or prescription drugs, brand names come at a cost. Shop smart by ignoring the flashy packaging or fancy advertisements and stick with the generic option. A little savings on several products goes a long way.
Paying Late Fees
It can be hard to remember to pay every bill each month. However, it is important to stay organized in order to avoid late fees. Not only will you be charged for a late payment, some of these mistakes can take a hit on your credit score. Utilize tools, such as our Email & Text Alerts to receive reminders to pay important bills or get notified when your accounts reach a low balance.
Wasting Money on Food
Plan out your meals on a regular basis so you’re not buying food you don’t need and will eventually throw out. Before you shop, take an inventory of what you have, and shop with a list to help eliminate spontaneous purchases. Keep your fridge and pantry organized so you can easily find items and avoid purchasing duplicates.
This article was written by the UW Credit Union.