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Debt Management Tips - Strategies in Stretching Your Dollars

There are certain strategies you can use to cut costs, especially if your expenses are more than your income. In most cases you cannot cut your fixed costs. Some of these cost-cutting strategies include:

Housing and Meals

  • Compare costs of housing that may be less money per month and include utilities.
  • Consider a roommate, if you are single
  • Consider living with your parents, if single
  • Cook at home rather than eat out
  • Take your lunch
  • Clip coupons
  • Don't go food shopping when you are hungry

Books and Supplies

  • Buy used books
  • Borrow books from students who had the class (if edition is the same)

Transportation

  • Take public transportation, if you can
  • Ride with a friend or a classmate and share the cost
  • Buy a used car, not a new car

Personal Expenses

  • Buy what you need and avoid impulse buying
  • Compare costs, such as insurance and childcare
  • Try to buy items without using your credit card - use cash
  • Find inexpensive ways of entertainment - rent videos with friends or family
  • Take your own snacks to the movies
  • Shop in a second-hand store or buy sale items
  • Use prepaid phone cards for long distance calls
  • Borrow only what you need. Remember you have to pay loans back.
  • Put your financial aid funds in the bank and let them gain some interest.

These strategies will assist you in cutting your costs. Although you cannot borrow more than the cost of attendance, minus other aid received, there may still be some latitude in your financial aid budget. You should always borrow the least amount necessary to meet your needs.

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