How Credit Union Checking Account Helps Students on a Budget

students-on-budgetWhen it comes to planning for college, not everyone has a large credit union savings account or investment account that they can turn to for textbooks, dorm costs and daily living expenses. While some students can benefit from getting financial aid that will help them stay afloat while they are at school, others will have to contend with living on a tight budget. Learning how to put money away into your New Bedford credit union checking account and savings while taking care of everything you need while in college can be a challenge.

This article will focus on the different ways that students can take advantage of higher interest rates savings accounts to help them pay for the necessities while they are in college, as well as tips that can help students to still be able to put some money away for future expenses and other essential needs. Your local representatives at the St Anne New Bedford credit union can help you set up a basic credit union checking account and credit union savings account that you can use to your advantage.

Textbook Savings Opportunities

Outside of tuition and dorm costs, required textbooks are one of the biggest expenses that college students must deal with while in school. Fortunately, students are no longer limited to purchasing textbooks from the school supply center or library. Check out the options below to save money on your college textbooks this year.

  • Digital Textbooks – If your school allows it, you can get digital versions of your required textbooks that you can use on your tablet computer, Kindle or other portable device. Costs are often lower than standard prices for purchasing new textbooks and pages can be saved, bookmarked and even highlighted, depending on the device that you use to access the information.
  • Textbook Rentals – Another way to save money is to rent your textbooks. Just use your credit union checking account card to rent books online or at your school. This is a very low-cost option and can help you save hundreds of dollars each semester. Books are either shipped to you direct or available through your college book store. Just make sure you return them on time at the end of the semester to avoid late return fees and other associated costs.
  • Buy Used Textbooks – Some colleges buy back used books from students and then sell them at a discounted price based on the amount of wear and tear. Find out if your school offers this service or check with textbook rental companies for used book purchase options. This can be helpful if you want to keep the book or if you will be using it for more than one semester, while still saving you money.
  • Sell Back Your Textbooks – If you end up having to buy new, make sure to take good care of your textbooks and then sell them back to the school book store or the online store that you used to make your purchase. You will get paid a percentage of the money you invested in the textbook original and can use the credits toward buying or renting other textbooks in the future.

Food Savings Opportunities

Another big expense when going to college is food costs. While many students eat in the dorm room to save money compared to eating at the school cafeteria, it is important to steer clear of the traditional Ramen noodles and Pop-Tarts diet that many students succumb to in their first year. Cut coupons, shop sales, join discount shopping clubs and buy things in bulk if you have room to store them in your dorm room. Try to purchase fresh, healthy food choices whenever possible and avoid junk food and pre-packaged items when you can. Believe it or not, fresh foods often cost less than pre-packaged microwave foods anyway.

Reducing Monthly Bills While in School

There are a lot of other bills that college students have to deal with while in school. You may have a credit union savings account to lean on for big expenses like textbook purchases and tuition fees, but the monthly bills will still need to be paid. If you are unable to take money from a high interest rates savings account and your funds in the credit union checking account at your New Bedford credit union have been depleted, consider these methods for reducing monthly costs and think about getting a part-time or weekend job to help make ends meet.

  • Cell Phone Bill – See if you can get in on a family plan with your family members or with other college students to save money on your bill.
  • Internet Service – If your dorm room doesn’t offer free wireless service, find out if your cell phone company offers discounted rates on portable Internet services for customers.
  • Utilities – Depending on where you are living while in school, you may have to content with basic monthly utilities, such as water, gas and electric. Make sure to be as eco-friendly as possible with your utility use habits to keep bills under control.

Putting Money into Interest Rates Savings Accounts

If you are working while in school, make sure to separate your bill money into your credit union savings account and your savings into your credit union savings account at your local New Bedford credit union. Take advantage of opportunities regarding higher interest rates savings opportunities with money market accounts or certificates of deposit to help you save money for future expenses or upcoming semester tuition costs. Speak with a representative at St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford for more financial tips or for information on the opportunities available to credit union members.