College tips: Save money and get organized

Due to the high cost of college and how busy I am all the time, I have to cut corners to save money and time wherever I can. College students can learn to streamline projects, get organized in your dorm room and reduce costs.

There are several ways to save money while in college. (Credit: peerTransfer)

There are several ways to save money while in college. (Credit: peerTransfer)

Here are some college tips for the best ways to save money and practice time management skills.

Save money

Don’t need a printer – When I went to college my freshman year, I tried to make my dorm the exact same way as my room at home. But I quickly learned that I needed to streamline to save money and space. One thing college students don’t really need is a printer. You’ll save space in your already cramped dorm room and you’ll save money not paying for the printer, paper and expensive ink cartridges. Instead, buy a flash drive and “save [your] 20-page term paper on it, and print the paper in the campus computer lab,” suggested Marc A. Wojno and Miles Kruppa in “13 Things College Students Don’t Need,” posted at Kiplinger, August 31, 2015. Without a flash, you could also send files to the lab directly from your computer.

Be aware of what you spend – The best way to save money is to write out a budget of your expenses. “Keep in mind that the key to financial success is being aware of how you’re spending your money,” suggested Elizabeth Hoyt in “31 Money Saving Tricks for Students,” posted on FastWeb.com, July 31, 2015. Know exactly what you’re paying for: books, clothes, office supplies, food, transportation, etc. You’ll be surprised how many things you’ll need to buy.

Hoyt also suggested:

  • Walk, bike or use public transportation instead of having a car.
  • Use discount cards, buy supplies on sale, clip coupons, and buy off brands.
  • Make your own coffee in your room rather than buy from an expensive coffee shop.
  • Don’t make impulse purchases – buy only what you really need.

Save time

Plan wisely for big projects or tests – Procrastination may seem like saving time if you party first, then cram at the last minute, but it adds too much stress and may even affect your health and certainly affect your grades. In “5 Time Management Tips to Calm College Student Stress,” posted in CampusCalm.com, Maria Pascucci advised students to:

  • Keep up with assignments, don’t let them pile up.
  • “Break large tasks into bite-sized pieces and estimate how much time each piece will take.”
  • Work at your peak energy time, whether that’s first thing in the morning, at lunch time, or later in the day; whatever is best for you.
  • Plan to study or work on a project with a friend so you won’t be tempted to keep putting it off.

Keep files and papers organized – In college, I have papers galore that need organizing—syllabi, term papers, quizzes, writing assignments, lab reports, etc. In “6 Time Management Tips for College Students,” posted at Rasmussen College, June 18, 2014, Jess Mansour Scherman suggested this tip: “If you have separate binders, notebooks and folders for each class, you’ll quickly be able to find that sheet of notes you need for next week’s test or the printed article you planned to reference for your big research paper. Avoiding clutter isn’t just important when organizing your notes and hand-outs. Be sure to keep your computer desktop organized in a way that always allows you to locate the files you’ll need for each particular class.”

What are some ways you save money and time in college? Share your ideas in the comments.

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