As college students, most of whom aren’t independently wealthy, the last thing we need are useless things draining our funds. But you might be surprised at the things that you don’t really need to be paying money for! Here we break down five things that could be draining your bank account.
1. ATM fees. You probably know that if you use an ATM that your bank doesn’t own to get cash out of your account, you could be incurring fees of up to $3 a pop. While that may not seem like much, it adds up after a while, especially when tacked onto the money you’re already withdrawing. For some of us, however, it may not be much of a choice if there isn’t a branch of our bank near campus. An easy fix for this problem is to simply ask for cash back when purchasing something at any store. That way you can leave any unnecessary fees behind you!
2. Bottled water. We know what you’re thinking – water?! How could that be an unnecessary cost, I need it to live! But think about it: you’re paying upwards of $2 or $3 several times a week for something that ought to be free! Even if the taps in your dorm or apartment aren’t exactly drinking friendly, it’s more than likely that there are several drinking fountains on your school’s campus where you could fill up a reusable water bottle (you probably have one from your school that they gave you for free at some point – I have at least four!) and have a thirst quenching beverage for next to nothing. Plus, it’s more eco-friendly!
3. Your daily coffee/energy drink habit. I know, I know, you can’t function without your caffeine. But have you ever done the math on how much that little habit is costing you per month? What about per year? And we won’t even get into how bad it is for your health! Assuming that each drink is around $4, by cutting your consumption from five times a week down to three, you could be saving nearly $40 a month. That’s almost $500 per year! Let that one sink in for a moment.
4. Vending machines. A lot of these money drains seem to revolve around food and drink! If you go down to the vending machine or run to the gas station or convenience store every time you’re hungry, you’re going to end up way overpaying. Instead, you should go to the local grocery store or supermarket and buy multiple serving snacks, in bulk size. That way you’re getting a better deal per serving and paying less money less often (plus you’re more apt to buy healthier snacks).
5. Parking meters. Yes, sometimes these are necessary evils, but when you do the math, in the long run, it might make more sense (or cents?) to purchase a parking pass for your school. While it may seem like a large expense at one time, breaking it down will reveal that it’s more cost efficient to just spend the money upfront, instead of pumping in gallons of quarters each day.
Be sure to check out GradGuard for all of your life and college hacks!