Matt Forney
Spread the Word!

Stuff You Don’t Need to Buy in College

NOTE: This is a sponsored guest post by Jittery Monks. If you’re interested in advertising on my site, click here.

Since 1965, the U.S. government has given students over $700 billion dollars in student loans. According to a Nellie Mae study, the average amount of debt that an undergraduate student has is $18,900! College students could easily decrease the amount of money they borrow, but few have the discipline to do what it takes. College students lack the forethought necessary to stop spending so much on life and send some of that money toward their tuition bill, and instead just take it out in student loans because they won’t have to worry about them until six months after graduation. Here is a list of the worst offenders that college students spend money on that they probably shouldn’t!

The worst offender of all goes without saying: fast food. You can eat healthy while still being a lazy stoner. The typical college student probably goes out to eat around four times a week, for $6-7 a visit. That’s $25 a week on fast food, or $400 every semester. If you live in the dorms, you have a meal plan: use it! If you live off-campus, buy groceries; it’s so much cheaper than going out to eat! You’ll easily end up with $3,000 over your college career that could be used to reduce your student loan debt! It might not be the most fun now to not go out to eat, but after you graduate, those burgers will be gone, your belly will be bigger, and so will your student loans!

Textbooks are often necessary, but sometimes you honestly do not need to buy them. At the very minimum, check the syllabus before making a purchase. Ask someone who has taken the course before with the same professor as to whether the book is actually used in needed. In about 40 percent of classes, you really can get by quite easily without the book. In classes where you do need the books, chances are someone you know already has the book from when they took it, so ask if you can borrow it for a semester! If you do end up having to buy a book, don’t buy it from the bookstore, buy it online; you will easily save 50 percent of what you would have paid at the bookstore!

Snacking is another big area that college students fall short in. You might buy a pop or candy bar a few times a week from the machine, but you are paying so much more than you need to. Go to one of the major retailers such as WalMart or Costco. They have generic 12-packs of pop for $2.00 that taste just the same as regular pop, but instead of paying $.75 from a machine, you’re paying 17 cents for a can of pop, and who can beat that?

And at the end of the day, you don’t need to buy college itself! Or at least, not as much of it. There are many ways to lower how much you end up spending on college tuition. Students who are able to complete their degrees more quickly than normal can easily save thousands of dollars on tuition costs. This is especially valuable for students who want to earn a degree quickly, particularly for students who attend online courses through colleges like Western Governors University rather than students who travel to a physical location.

These are just a few examples. Depending on who you are, you might have a different vice. Whether it is new computer parts, an automobile you can’t afford, trips to the mall for some new clothes, or building your DVD collection, chances are there’s something you’re spending money on that you probably shouldn’t!

Read Next: Worthless: The Young Person’s Indispensable Guide to Choosing the Right Major by Aaron Clarey