Going away to college can be expensive but attainable if you have a savings plan. Shopping around for the best deals or getting discounts are just few ways to help you save throughout the semester. Here are a few simple tips to help you manage your money while attending college away from home.

Make the most of your meal plan.

Don’t fall for the quick trips to your favorite fast food restaurants around campus when you have a meal plan in hand. You don’t want to end up with 50 meal swipes at the end of the semester and less cash in your pocket for other things you may need throughout the semester.

Scale back on the frilly items.

Skip out on the pretty planner notebooks, laptop covers or the 12 pack of highlighters that you’ll only use three colors at the most all year long. Stick to less expensive choices in your school supplies to get you by for the semester. You can figure out ways to short cut those costs like recycling paper or saving items to a jump drive instead of printing them out.

Make a list. 

Better yet, prioritize your shopping runs. Try to avoid taking multiple trips to the store every day by making a list. Once a week, make that shopping run and go through your list. What you needed on Tuesday may not need after all on Sunday.

Look around for student discounts.

Businesses want your money so if you’re going to give it to them, see if they can offer a student discount. It never hurts to ask. Make sure you have your student ID ready at the checkout.

You don’t need it.

Knowing that you don’t need another T-shirt, pair of shoes or purse is key. The appeal to purchase items is strong but you hold the power by saying “NO.” The less stuff you bring to your itty-bitty dorm room is less clutter overall.

For more financial aid assistance, feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid or stop by Bear Central located in the Campus Commons.