College on a Budget: Saving Money Wisely

So college is expensive. Big surprise. Throughout your time as a college student, you’ve probably been forced to cut down on spending in anticipation of tuition and textbook costs. While cutting down on your spending habits is no fun, learning to budget is crucial for your college career and beyond. Living your life on a budget is difficult, and it’s definitely not the most enjoyable, but there are some tips you can use to make your life a little easier:

Check for college discounts.

As a college student, you have lots of awesome deals coming your way that you might not even be aware about. When you go out to shop, bring your BruinCard with you and ask around to make to see if any student discounts are applicable. Even 5% or 10% off can add up in the future! 

Make use of campus resources.

UCLA offers some awesome resources, like renting laptops and scholarships for textbooks. Be sure to do your research and see if any resources are applicable to you before you spend all your money. Keep track of UCLA Facebook pages, websites and other social media accounts to keep up to date on all the resources and options available to you.

Spend your money on reusable items.

So you’re out shopping and you come across a top. A really glittery, neon, ostentatious top. It would be so perfect for that event happening Saturday night! Buying (expensive) items that serve only a one-time use can be really damaging to your bank account. Resist the temptation and think in the long-term!

Keep an eye out for options.

Spending money is inevitable, especially when it comes to things like textbooks. Textbooks can be both extremely expensive and extremely pertinent to your education. When purchasing your textbooks, make sure to keep an eye out for other cheaper options. Maybe the textbook is available electronically, maybe your friend can sell you a cheap used copy- be sure to consider your options and think about your budget before you spend.


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Saving your money is tough, but it does teach you valuable lessons in budgeting and developing self-control. Learn to rein in your impulses and consider the use of items in the long-term before you invest in them. Self-control is an important skill, and one you can start learning now.

College is all about learning and education, and budgeting can be another skill that you add to your repertoire. Learning to save money and to spend it wisely can be an essential skill that you can take with you throughout the years.