Back to school usually means dropping some serious cash. On top of tuition, housing, transportation and food there are many other supplies you’ll need to purchase. But don’t stress! Here are five ways to cut costs and in some cases, even bring a little cash your way:
1. Are you covered?
Extended health care is often included in your mandatory school fees. However, if your parents have an extended health plan, you may already be covered. If so, you may be able to have that portion of your school fees refunded by a few hundred dollars or more. Documentation showing you’re already covered under another plan is usually all you need to receive your refund. But be aware of the deadlines; if missed, you could lose your refund.
2. Small can be beautiful (and cheaper)
If you’re moving from a big city to a smaller place for school, your car insurance rates may go down. Get a quote for the smaller city or town you are moving to to see if it reduces your rates. Smaller outlying and more rural areas tend to offer lower insurance rates than congested cities, with higher crime rates and vehicle repair costs.
3. The perks of status
Student status can mean serious savings, especially for computer software and hardware. Student-priced software savings can be 60% or more. Additionally, companies like Apple often throw in an added bonus as a further back to school enticement. Even if a retailer doesn’t advertise a student discount; ask. Some retailers may still give you a discount even if they don’t formally offer one. All you’ll need is your student card or proof of enrollment.
4. No fee for you!
Take advantage of extra back to school fee and installation waivers from service providers. For example, cable and Internet hook up fees are often waived during this time period. The type and amount will vary by provider. Also, Internet and cable services tend to be offered at a discounted student rate.
5. Cut your banking fees
There are enough free offerings that most students, and even many people in their early 20’s, shouldn’t be paying for a monthly banking package. Some financial institutions (FI’s) offer free account’s to those under 25 regardless of student status. When choosing an FI, check the accessibility of ATM’s. A free account can still cost you plenty if you’re constantly incurring fees for using another institution’s ATM network.
While back to school will cost you, taking advantage of deals, fee waivers, rebates and refunds can help lessen the dent to your bank account.