Going to college can be a shock to some people in terms of how much (or little) money you have at your disposal. If you’re in need of some budgeting tips for your freshman year, here are some ways to save a few extra bucks!
Take advantage of your meal swipes
Part of our tuition includes meal swipes, so instead of buying food from off campus, get food at a dining hall! Or, use your Dining Dollars included in your meal plan at one of the several cafes on campus. This way, you can save money on food. Plus, the food at University of Massachusetts is really good.
Get a job on campus
There are plenty of both non-work-study and work-study jobs offered to students at UMass. Find one! Even if it’s a small job, money is money, and it gives you something to do (and maybe even something to put on your resume). There is an online job bank you can find on the official UMass website, which lists all the available jobs and job times. Employers on campus work with students to figure out a work schedule based on their class schedules, so if you can, I would recommend getting a job!
Don’t online shop (too much)
A small splurge every now and then never hurts, but don’t online shop in your free time. I learned the hard way that online shopping can really put a dent in your bank account, and if you’re trying to save money, online shopping definitely won’t help you. Save your money for something well worth it!
Don’t spend too much money on textbooks
Re: my “How to Save Money on Textbooks” blog post. A municipal fee that is easy to discount is textbooks, so don’t be quick to buy an $100 book unless you absolutely need to -- more often than not, you can find the same book for half the price or cheaper.
Don’t go crazy with your credit cards
The first credit card I was ever given was entering my freshman year of college, and I’ve always been really cautious about using it. You can easily fall into debt if you abuse a credit card, so be wary about how much you use it, and definitely try not to overspend on it!
In general, going to college made me become a lot more aware about money, and I figured out ways that was best for me to budget. You become much more aware of how much you spend when you’re living by yourself.