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College Savings 101 Can Be Valuable

Learn how to save money while enjoying college life.

There are so many colleges close to Grafton, and many Graftonites may have sent their kids off to one of those institutions — or even farther away — this fall.

For most young adults, college is their first time living away from home and having to figure out how to live within their means and on their own. Here are some ways to help you, or your college student, save money while still having fun.

Ramen noodles. Just kidding, but not really. Just mix in some broccoli once in a while.

Stay away from credit card applications. Banks will set up tables in the student union and try to lure you over with tote bags. Frisbees. Beach towels. Commuter coffee mugs. They will be pretty colors and you will want one. “Don’t be a sucker. Those guys sitting behind the sign-up table are not there to help you. They’re there to make money,” writes J.D. Roth in an article at GetRichSlowly.org. His article instead recommends checking out area credit unions on your own and saving for what you want to purchase, instead of using credit.

Find ways to have fun for less. The great thing about a college ID is that it gets you into plenty of free or nearly free activities on campus. These include soccer and football games and a film screening next month at Worcester State University; a seminar on Africa’s economic climate at Clark; or the ballroom dancing club at the College of the Holy Cross. Many student groups also host trips throughout the school year for far less than you might pay otherwise.

Another good way to save is by purchasing used textbooks. If the college bookstore runs out, you have other options, says an article by Julianne Weiss Roesser at Quizzle.com. ISBN.nu allows you to compare prices at online book stores, for example. You can also find used textbooks on Amazon.com and Half.com. “Once you’re done with the class, you can use those same sites to sell the textbooks back,” Roesser says.

College is about living on less, so get creative. That may well be one of the most valuable lessons you will learn in college.

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