If you simply can't control your credit card spending but don't want to give up the convenience of paying by plastic, consider changing your credit card to a debit card. A debit card offers all the convenience of a credit card (including all the protections against fraud) except that the money is deducted from your bank account when you use it. This way you are not able to spend more than you have.
Remember the penny jar or piggy bank you had as a child? There is no reason you can't do this now as an adult. Find a jar, cut a small slit in the cover and tape it shut. Every time you have change in your pocket, drop it into the jar. At the end of the semester, you'll be surprised at how much you've accumulated. Better yet, roll those pennies into a bank account that pays interest and watch your coins grow.
How often does this happen? On the first day of class your professor hands out a reading list. You spend a small fortune and a considerable amount of time to buy these books. But as the semester progresses, you realize you only read a few chapters in each book—or maybe you never get around to reading the assignment at all.
Rather than buy new or even used books that you'll only read a small portion of, use the library's copies or borrow them from your friends. Professors seldom assign entire books to read. Through some strategic borrowing, you should be able to complete all the assignments without buying a single book. If you do need to own a copy of the book, then definitely buy it used.
Senior citizens who are on a fixed income rarely shop without that valuable money saver: coupons. But if you think poring over the Sunday paper with a pair of scissors is too much work, you can find coupons with a click of your mouse. Online coupons are much easier to locate and use. While the amount you save depends on how much you spend, students who are diligent in their coupon clipping ways can save about $45 per month.
Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.
By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Need money for college? Stressed over how to pay the next tuition bill? Searching for a way to get a degree without going broke? Whether you need a full-tuition scholarship or a little extra cash to make ends meet, 1001 Ways to Pay for College provides students and parents with the answers.