The first year of college can be sooo expensive. With tuition and books and student living, its crazy how much you spend. The list below are tips I wish I knew when I was starting college. Hopefully they will save you some money and make your life just that little bit easier.
Did you know you are entitled to a free microsoft office package as part of your tuition ask your college how to set it up. I definitely didn't know this and it could have saved me up to 90 euro. That is a huge amount of savings and extra savings means extra spends for you.
reading lists are a guideline do not run out and buy every book your lecturers mention. So many people do this every year and it is such an expensive mistake. The only book I would ever recommend getting is a book that will cover you for all four years of college.
Your library has at least to hardback copies and two ebook versions of every book. you can borrow books from your college library but you may have to wait a while for it to become available. Some colleges will let you photocopy and a few pages from the book if your only looking for a specific chapter but you would have to check with your college policy first.
Alternatively if you are part of a study group you could all pitch in and buy a book together. This system works best if there are less than four people in a group tho.
A lot of colleges like mine have extra classes to help students who may be struggling in first year. These classes are provided for first year students only and include academic writing, chemistry and mathematics. These classes are completely free of charge and can really help anyone who may be having trouble keeping up with some topics.
Some colleges in Ireland have an access and civic engagement center which can help students who may be struggling financially. Science students like me can spend a huge amount of money their first week of college, for each laboratory I have I need certain books, equipment and a lab coat. I didn't realize when I was in college that the student access programme can help with some of these costs.
Bring your own lunch
Bring your own lunch to college yes this can seem very obvious but everyone makes this mistake at the start of college. You want to try the canteen and go out to lunch with your new friends but you will soon realize that this is a big expense that can be avoided. Plus you are more likely to choose a healthier option when you make your own lunch.
Alternatively if you like eating out or don't have the time to make lunch check what restaurants and shops do student discounts and only shop there. I have a post with a list of restaurants and shops which do student discounts.
Pick the right course
The best thing you can do to save money is to make sure you choose the course you really want. Don't pick a course your not interested in or because its your parents choice.You will not have the interest and you will eventually change course or drop out this can cause thousands in expense.