Being a college student sort of sucks, and if you’ve even been broke you know that having just a little money makes you really, really miserable — you’re forced to eat ramen daily and hoping the unemployment check arrives soon and buying bread and milk with spare change and constantly complaining because you’re in poverty. You need to save and spend money on what’s important to you, learn how to find deals on college essentials. Here’s how:
There are plenty of merits to buying a new car; longevity perhaps being the most obvious. But as a college student, you probably don’t have the cash for a big down payment, much less the high credit score necessary for obtaining a lease. But you can still get a car in great condition if you’re willing to buy used. If you decide to buy used cars, look for a vehicle with lower mileage if at all possible. You will also want to get a Carfax report so that you’re aware of the vehicle’s accident history.
Dorm residents don’t have to think about furniture beyond a futon and mini fridge, but those living off campus will have to deal with more extensive furnishing. It’s pointless to waste a lot of money on furniture you’ll probably toss when you graduate from college. Before you move into your apartment, ask recent grads if they’d be willing to sell or donate unwanted furniture. Craigslist is also a good place to check for furniture that’s inexpensive or even free.
It might seem like you constantly need a new computer, phone and tablet, but if you do it right, you can still get relatively new gadgets without spending a fortune. Just take advantage of all the people who feel the need immediately to purchase new items. When they get rid of their fancy gadgets, you can swoop in for a good deal. Check out eBay, Craigslist and Amazon. A number of tech websites for used goods offer refurbished items in excellent quality. Keep the brand of the used item in mind, as some are considered more durable than others. Apple products are terrific in this regard, which could very well be why 51 percent of households own Apple electronics.
According to market research group Student Monitor, the average student spends $535 on textbooks yearly. Imagine how that cost could be reduced if students did a better job of finding used textbooks. These are available on sites such as Amazon Marketplace and eBay, as well as local used bookstores. You may also be able to score books for next to nothing from students who have already taken the courses on your schedule.