While saving money is a must for many college students, the rising costs of college can become a big financial burden.
“I’m going into the medical field, so I am going to be in college for a while. I work a full-time job and go to school full-time as well. On top of that, I have a wedding to plan for. I’m surviving financially somehow,” says Salt Lake Community College student Tyler Gaffney.
A student will spend an average of $8900 a year for public college, according to CollegeData.com. That’s not including the cost of textbooks, which likely boosts the average to over $9000 per year.
While Utahns attending SLCC pay less than the average, students are always looking for ways to save more money. One option is to have a more self-sufficient diet.
“I try not to eat out as much,” says Gaffney. “I think I’ve spent about $80 in a month from eating out at fast food places,” says Gaffney. “I tried just buying groceries for the month and only spent about $50. Not only that, but I lost weight!”
Clothing is another expense that students can take a second look at.
“I also try not to go clothes shopping so much,” continues Gaffney. “If I am in desperate need of clothes, I hit up the nearest thrift store,” says Gaffney.
There are plenty of thrift stores in the Salt Lake area. Instead of buying a pair of designer jeans from Abercrombie and Fitch or Banana Republic for $80, a student could get a decent pair of jeans from Savers, Goodwill or a family-owned thrift shop for a fraction of the price.
Vehicle expenses can drain a student budget, especially for students who have daily drivers.
“I pay a yearly amount of $390 for auto insurance and I would consider that average. But it all depends on your driving record, your age, and the type of car that you drive,” says SLCC student Brett Ammon. “I also pay an average of $1500 a year in gas.”
Doing basic maintenance work on your vehicle can make a difference to your wallet. “I can get anyone in my family to help me with an oil change. All I would have to do is pay for the oil, which would be about $15,” continues Ammon.
To avoid the pinch at the pump, students should consider public transportation. Students who live in Salt Lake City can purchase a Hive Pass for $360 a year, or about $1 a day. Students in other cities may be eligible to receive discounts for public transit.
If you’re content using a car, Jayde Ford, a freshman at SLCC has some more advice.
“You can wash your car by hand,” says Ford, “and you can put it into neutral on down-hills so you save on gas.”