CLEVELAND, OH - When you're a student, every penny counts. So save money by avoiding these common spending mistakes at college:
MISTAKE 1. Believing a car is crucial with countless new college vehicle options!
From car share options to inexpensive daily rental rates on campus for students, I urge you to add up the cost of car payments, insurance, any additional finance charges, repairs, gas and ticket costs over the course of a year. You will be stunned to see what you can save and for many students, the average savings are $6,000 per year.
If a student has three best friends at the same college, with families from the same region, not all three students need a car. Ride-sharing and other forms of transportation home are not always the most glamorous but these are students, and there are savings to be found!
MISTAKE 2: Stop spending money on shipping.
Those care packages from home are wonderful but there is another way. The countless crazy shipping fees students pay for school-related purchase can amount to $1,000 per school year!!
Amazon is currently running a 6-month FREE Prime Membership for students with free two-day shipping, same-day shipping options and cloud storage freebies. Prime for students now includes gigantic reductions on textbook fees and rentals.
MISTAKE 3. Using credit cards instead of cash or debit cards.
Students need to have spending limits. If a student no longer has funds available, he or she needs to stop spending, work some extra hours, have a chat with a parents or not complete a purchase.
Credit cards give students an unrealistic concept of finances. With high interest rates that take advantage of students and the sense of financial immortality they convey, credit cards are a terrible idea for students.
MISTAKE 4. Not shelling out for a computer protection plan.
I see it all the time. Parents buy a barely average laptop on sale. A year later the computer breaks. Following service visits, paid support calls, expensive replacement parts and a second or third computer, parents just buy a proper laptop from the start.
For students, a solid MacBook with a service plan is my first choice. Buy an Apple Certified refurbished model that will give you a discount with AppleCare. Many college book stores are already authorized service centers and Apple provides wide spread student discounts and incentives.
If Macs are out of your budget, a solid Toshiba, HP or Lenovo Laptop with at least 16GB of RAM, a strong graphics cards, Intel processor or equivalent and a generous Solid State drive is the way to go... with a service plan. Skip the Chromebooks.
MISTAKE 5: Buying an iPad instead of a laptop or Surface!
I've interviewed many students over the past two years who opted for iPads instead of fully functional laptops. That same student ends up buying a laptop once he or she learns the iPad just won't cut it.
Unless a student has $900+ to throw at an iPad Pro, the need for a larger screen and a device that can adequately handle the software needs of a student makes the standard iPad a bad choice in my opinion.
Many back to school laptop deals drop in two weeks. Get on my deal list if you have a specific request. If you want the ultimate fully-equipped two in one device, my #1 pick is this Microsoft Surface deal with Windows 10 Pro.
MISTAKE 6. Relying on delivery and UberEats for meals.
College meal plans can be great but students get tired of them quickly and reach for UberEats apps and delivery options that add up very quickly.
If a student needs help in the kitchen or finds him or herself short on time / money, there are free cookbooks that are great for back to school and college. It helps with meal planning for people of all ages. It's also way healthier than take-out.
Matt Granite is a freelance consumer reporter who produces stories and video for this station, Amazon Live and others. Neither Matt nor this station are compensated by the brands featured here.
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