Being a student is tough. We hear all the time about students going hungry, living in their cars or worse. Housing is just too expensive for many students, and things like food fall to the bottom of the priority list. If you can relate, there are a few things you can do to get through these tough times.
Reduce Spending on Nonessentials
Home prices and average rents are skyrocketing all over the country. It’s not your fault if you’re struggling. One way you can help cover things is to reduce the amount you spend on nonessentials, such as shopping and entertainment. Even better? You can get your roommates in on it to make an even bigger dent.
- Go in together with roommates or friends on a warehouse store membership and buy in bulk for things like toilet paper and household cleaners. You’ll even find great deals on huge packs of food that are much healthier than ramen.
- Come together on household expenses like streaming services, and try to cut out where you can, such as the cable bill.
- Carpool to campus or better yet, swap the car for a bus pass.
- Make sure everyone in the house is limiting their shower time to save money on the water bill.
- Offer to do chores for the landlord in exchange for reduced rent.
If you’ve trimmed until you just can’t trim anymore, you may be able to save money by contacting your utility providers and asking for a reduced rate. You can negotiate just about anything, including your cable bill, phone bill and car insurance premium. And remember to always ask for a student discount.
Reduce Payments on Debt
If you have debt and decent credit, you have the ability to change your circumstances through debt consolidation. Debt consolidation groups all of your debt payments together into one lower payment, which can free up a lot of money to pay for housing. You can also negotiate lower interest rates for your existing debt, which could save you thousands of dollars over time.
It’s a challenging time to be a student, but there is help out there. Some campuses have programs that allow students to work in campus services in exchange for reduced dorm rates, and these may even include meals. Other campuses have connections to services that will help you find housing that’s affordable as well as a job to keep you afloat. So one of the first places to go is to your campus resources office to ask for help. Then work on cutting out expenses and looking for alternatives to living alone. Sharing struggles helps us get by; hopefully, it will you, too.