Sunday, August 21, 2011

College students can save money by not buying these things

Let's face it. College is expensive. Most college students squeak by on a meager budget. One thing they realize is that tuition is not the only cost. Other things can add up. Many students don't even realize how expensive other things can be. So here are a few items that college students should try and not buy. Every penny saved is a penny back in your pocket.

Leave the car at home. Better yet. Sell it and pocket the cash. The college fees for parking are probably going to cost $50 a month. Or more. And your car will mostly sit. You still have to pay insurance, and car insurance for college students is not cheap. You will be tempted to take trips on the weekend, further costing you money. No doubt a car will end up costing most college students a couple of hundred dollars a month. If you insist on driving in college, here are some lower car insurance tips.

College students do not need the latest fashions. You're going to spend the majority of your time on campus. Buy some used clothes and forget the name brands. Nobody in college will notice anyway. Every student will have unique way of dressing. If you buy new, buy from the cheaper store and skip the brand names.

Textbooks are a huge expense. So, how about trying NOT to buy them. You can rent them from various places now. Many e-readers have textbook versions for a fraction of the cost. But, the best way is to avoid buying them at all. How? Well, show up to class before you buy books. See if the ones on the list are really necessary. If not, and you can still pass the class, don't buy them. Your college library will have copies of all needed books. Most of these cannot be checked out, so copies remain in the library. Get to the library during off hours, and chances are nobody will be using them. You can also check out used book stores to see if an older version works just as well. These would be very cheap. Meet people in the class who have a textbook, and study with them. Here are more tips on saving on textbooks.

College students do not need a lot of notebooks and paper anymore. Most things that used to be passed out, like a syllabus, are now online. You might even do homework online. Maybe you can take notes with your computer. Wait until the first few classes to start and find out exactly how much paper and notebooks you need. Don't wast money on school supplies.

>>Tips for more financial aid.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Car insurance: Students can get better rates.

College students feel the need to drive a car, but a car and expenses that you can incur, like insurance, can break a college budget. The best thing a college student can do is to not have a car. But, many times that's a solution that is not heeded. There are things one can do to lower their auto insurance rates.

Check your current auto policy for any extras that are charged for. Like roadside assistance, towing, and other things that are not really part of the insurance for your car. Drop these and your payments should be lower.

College students may be eligible for good grade discounts. Check with your insurance company and make sure you are getting all discounts, including good driver.

Increasing your deductible can really take a chunk out of your car insurance costs. Try and go for the biggest deductible that you can get. You can probably save hundreds of dollars a year on this alone.

Only pay for the coverage you need. Many insurance companies offer different levels of coverage. Anywhere from minimum coverage, to maybe a gold standard. The top package will include many things, but the cost goes up accordingly. These things can include rental cars, deductible waivers, pick up and drop off, and many other things. The lowest coverage will be the cheapest. Just be sure that what the lowest coverage is will satisfy the state in which you will be attending college accepts.

You have probably seen the many auto insurance commercials about how switching will save you money. It's true in some cases. If you are unhappy with your insurance rates, shop the big companies and see who has the best deal. You may be able to actually save some serious money.

New technology is allowing insurance companies to monitor your driving habits. If you are comfortable with this, you could get a discount.

The bottom line is to make driving a car in college cheap. Get the most discounts you can to save as much money as you can.

Many prospective college students are now considering where to go to school in the Fall. While cars are not really needed in college, many students want them. In addition, many students will be driving cross-country to their new college homes, thus having a car while in college. A student that has a car has an extra expense. This expense can break your budget. You may want to consider your college choices if you do have a car and money is tight. Some states charge more on average than others. Do some research to find where rates are cheaper.

One of the biggest expenses college students can have is a car. Gas, upkeep, and car insurance can add up. If you insist on having a car while in college, beware of what auto insurance companies can do. Don't take the first policy offered by someone who is an agent or even the company. They are trying to sell you the best car insurance policy for them, not you. Ask for a cheaper rate or how you can lower the auto insurance they are offering Talk to more than one agent as well. If they know you are comparing policies, they will offer cheaper ones up front. If you are under 25, forget a really cheap policy. No matter what, car insurance companies do like under 25 age drivers. Car insurance companies are checking your credit history now. Bad credit may get you a higher policy or even none. If you currently have insurance, it can pay to shop around. But many auto insurance companies will not cancel your present coverage, even after you get a new one from a different company. In fact, they may even bill you for the premiums and report you as being past due to a credit agency. We know that sounds crazy, but it does happen. Don't cancel your policy until you have a new one. A lapse in coverage may make you uninsurable to the next company. Auto insurance companies have a policy cancellation form. Use it. Make sure your new policy starts at exactly the same time your current policy is canceled.