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Financial advise for college students

College can be a financially difficult period for many students.

One of the most difficult financial periods in your life may be while you're in college. During this time, it's easy to accumulate an immense amount of debt. If you want to try to limit your college debt, try these tips: 

Learn to cook
Cooking is one of the easiest ways to save money in college. Student meal plans costs thousands of dollars each semester, and often offer only fast food-quality products. If you learn to cook, you can forgo the expensive, unhealthy options your school offers and make something better.

Using the following ingredients as the foundation of meals can help make them cheap and healthy:

  • Beans
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Chicken
  • Vegetables

Student activity card
Most colleges charge all students an activity fee. Your school's website, or some other documentation, should tell you everything that the card pays for. It might include a free gym membership, bus rides and admission to on-campus events. Your school will take this money from you no matter what, so it's best to get as much value as you can from it. Don't join a gym if your school provides you free access to one and take the bus if it's free.

Work part-time
Going to school full-time is a job by itself, but if you have any free time outside of class and studying, then you should find part-time work. A part-time job can be anything from working for the university, a college bookstore or if you have a major that lends itself to freelance work like graphic design, programming or writing, you can look for jobs that provide valuable career experience for the future.

Be a resident advisor
Outside of tuition itself, the costs of staying in the dorms or private residence are likely the biggest expenses you'll incur. After your freshman year, try becoming a resident advisor. Most colleges offer a private dorm room as compensation. Responsibilities for this include inspecting rooms when residents move in and out, holding regular meetings to make sure residents are all right and holding residents to school standards when it comes to things like drugs and alcohol. 

Look for student discounts
Local businesses will frequently have ongoing student discounts or limited-time special deals for college students.

Join a credit union
Becoming a member of a credit union can help you build your credit. If you get a credit card through a credit union and use it responsibly while in college, you'll have some credit history built-up that will help you with lenders when you're looking to purchase a vehicle or home by the time you graduate.