Entering college is exciting, but it can also be a major source of stress if you’re moving out on your own for the first time. Many college students worry whether they have enough money to pay for school, not to mention paying for regular expenses. If you’re already feeling anxious about finances in school, this post is for you. We’ll tackle four money saving tips that freshmen can use to budget smart, save more and enjoy the most out of their first year of college!

Don’t Think Loans Are Your Only Option

Your parents may agree to sign for a loan, or you could be borrowing them yourself. In either case, loans are convenient and a blessing for many, but they are not the only way to pay for education. In today’s society, financing a college education has never been easier. Although most students will have to borrow some amount, you can lower how much you’ll borrow and owe with scholarships and grants.

Scholarships are awarded based on factors like your grades, GPA, talents, extracurricular activities, etc. Grants, on the other hand, are merit-based and offered to students who have financial need, or who come from difficult backgrounds. There are opportunities with Going Merry scholarships, so don’t rule yourself out if you don’t think you’d be eligible because you’re not an athlete or have a 4.0. This free platform matches you with scholarships based on your profile, and you can apply directly from the site.

First Year of College | Eat Smart, Not Cheap

The idea that every college student lives off takeout, microwave burritos, and ramen noodles is an old image. You don’t have to choose the least nutritious food to save money. Look into meal planning, where you can create healthy, delicious meals for less than $50 a week. Or you can look up healthy recipes online to plan your meals. Proper nutrition can help you deal with stress which is critical in college. Fuelling your body with healthy, whole foods, means you are setting yourself up for peak performance mentally and physically.

Share Streaming Apps

Whether it’s through your family’s account or with a friend, you can save on streaming services by sharing an account with someone. Let’s say you have Netflix but your best friend has Hulu. Instead of paying separately, offer to set up a profile for them on your account if they’ll do the same for you. Sharing is a great way for families and friends to save money on platforms they equally love.

Bike or Board to School

If you live in an area that makes it safe and feasible, consider biking and boarding from point A to point B. Many college towns are designed to be highly walkable, so you should be able to easily get to and from most of your important destinations without any hassle. Even if you only wind up saving gas on one trip a week, that’s extra money in your pocket. Alternatively, if you rely on public transport, consider buying the monthly pass rather than paying for each ticket separately. Although it costs more upfront, you get unlimited rides and ultimately save money.