February 21, 2024

Some college students planned to save money as a New Year’s resolution but following through was difficult.

The use of debit cards and credit cards gives everyone the opportunity to simply swipe their card and spend freely without noticing that saved money is decreasing.

“We do not have a concept of money anymore,” Francois Jacobs, assistant professor of construction management, said. “Swiping the card is so easy.”

This can be prevented, however, by acknowledging several factors the next time a student decides to spend money.

Buy a used car versus a new one with zero miles

While new cars are luxurious and may be affordable, it is recommended to purchase one that was already used, whether it be from a dealership or private owner.

“Buy a two or three-year-old car rather than a brand new car,” Keanon Alderson, assistant professor of business, said.

The reason for this is new cars depreciate in value the minute people ride out of the dealership and are not worth what they paid for them if they are looking to resell

“College students need cars but a brand-new car would be worth less than what they owe on it,” Alderson said.

A used car will earn students at least what they bought it for and will provide them with the same satisfaction and service. The only disadvantage is the warranty and reliability.

“Students can always sell it for what they bought it for,” Alderson said.

Once students have a car, Alderson advises that they save money by paying cash at the gas station, as using a debit card requires a fee.

Eat Healthy and Save Money

Students who do not have a meal plan at the Alumni Dining Commons may find it harder to buy inexpensive and healthy meals that fill them up for long periods of time. For this reason it is much more convenient to buy food and cook it at home.

“I believe in whole food intake. Buy healthy food and eat what you make yourself,” Jacobs said.

Avoid changing phones and switching phone carriers

Many students buy the updated version of the phone they have, which constantly adds to the amount of money they spend. Canceling contracts and switching to different phone carriers tends to be expensive and unnecessary. It is important to distinguish between what is necessary and what is simply desired.

“Do not switch to the newer phone or break contracts and pay more,” Alderson said.

Buy and sell textbooks online

Textbooks are the most important yet expensive asset to a student’s education. That is why it is reasonable to be able to save when buying them and earn their money’s worth when selling them.

“Maximize the value of textbooks when selling them back,” Alderson said.

Not all textbooks are as important as others but those that are required for a major class should be conserved and kept for future references.

Textbooks used in general education classes can be rented or bought online. Even purchasing the older versions of those textbooks will save a student money versus buying the new edition.

It might be easy to spend money endlessly when college begins. As the years pass, however, students will realize that money is essential when they become independent because we are all responsible for our money and how we spend it.

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