Now that summer is coming to a close, it’s time to get the school bags out and head back to classes. Whether you’re heading off to college or sending the little ones off to school, this time of year could get quite costly. Back to school shouldn’t mean back to debt! Here are the top five ways to avoid debt during the start of classes!
Budget by the book!
Whether you’re going off to college or preparing to get back into the school routine, you may want to keep track of all your spending. It is easy to overspend this September, what with all the school supplies,class trips, and clothes to pay for. Use a notebook to keep track of your spending each week. If you could visually see your spending habits on paper, you’re less likely to overspend each month.
Avoid those ‘visitors’ on campus!
New college students are targeted each fall by credit card companies that visit campuses. Credit card representatives hang around the student union or popular hang-out spots on campus in order to sell students a fancy new card with many student “perks.” Don’t fall for the trap! Many of these cards may come with bonus gifts, but having another credit card only means more ways to spend money!
Apply to bursaries and scholarships!
Many colleges offer students scholarships or bursaries, or other financial awards. Sometimes, these go unclaimed as students aren’t even aware of them. Speak to your financial aid officer and do some research on awards that you could apply for on and off-campus. You’d be surprised about the number of awards up for grabs!
Use your student discounts
Your student card may save you a few dollars on transportation and food. Many student unions even offer discount cards that can save you a couple of bucks at many restaurants and retailers. Use your student card to your advantage when you go shopping. Remember, a penny saved, is a penny earned!
Plan ahead and plan often
Planning ahead is your best defense against debt. Besides budgeting each month, use your student planner, phone, or electronic calendar to send yourself reminders on bill payments due dates. You have enough to remember while you’re studying, so planning ahead and setting future reminders for yourself is a great way to stay on top of your payments and avoid debt!