How Students Save Big on Cars & College in 2023

In the 2020s, the two largest expenses for young people are education costs and vehicles. The good news is that there are several effective ways for individuals to deal with both those financial challenges.

Besides scholarships, college-bound youngsters can apply for student loans, save money while working for a year or more before attending school, attend community colleges or online institutions, and apply for work-study programs at the college of their choice.

To minimize car-related expenses, owners can use an entire arsenal of tactics. In addition to decreasing average daily miles, car owners cut operating costs by learning how to do simple fixes, switching to synthetic oil, using an OBD device to diagnose potential engine problems, and keeping tires inflated to optimum PSI levels at all times.

Here are details about how students can rein in operating expenses on vehicles and finance a college degree.

toy car in the palm of a person with a laptop, notebook, and pen in the background

Explore Scholarship Opportunities

Don’t even think about attending college until you’ve checked out the main scholarship search platforms. The main service providers can help just about anyone find cash for school.

While the potential amounts you can get vary greatly, it makes good sense to apply for as many opportunities as possible. The top search companies let users scan hundreds of scholarships offers and apply to as many as they wish, all from a single location and a unified application form.

That means less paperwork and faster results. In most cases, the streamlined process can help students get funds to cover some or all their college-related expenses.

Get a Student Loan

Getting and financing a college degree are two sides of the same coin. They’re both challenging in their own ways, but students who need money for school can take out loans to cover some or all the related expenses of a four-year degree program.

The primary advantage of an education loan is that payments are usually deferred until after graduation. Many lenders give grads a grace period so they can search for a job and have income before initial payments come due.

Plus, rates are reasonable for most borrowers who need money for expenses like tuition, books, fees, etc. One of the smartest ways to lock in a tuition rate is to pay in advance, which is possible with college loans.

While most people only pay for one semester at a time, most educational institutions require up-front payment at the start of each term.

Getting a loan is not only efficient, but it’s also a very common and straightforward way to pay all the costs associated with earning a diploma.

graduation cap leaning on a roll of 100 dollar bills

Related Reading: Grocery List Essentials For College Students: Budget-Friendly & Healthy

How To Cut The Cost Of Your Car Repairs

15 Real Ways To Save Money On A Tight Budget

Limit Mileage

One of the easiest ways to cut vehicle related expenses is to reduce average daily mileage.

While most young adults drive between 10 and 30 miles per day, they can cut that number down by making a conscious effort to avoid driving for one or two days each week, combining errands, carpooling whenever possible, using public transportation for regular commutes, and eliminating unnecessary trips.

With the cost of gasoline at an all-time high, now is the most opportune time to minimize the use of a personal vehicle.

Luckily, there are numerous alternatives that make the goal relatively easy to achieve.

Be Tire Smart

Watch a 5-minute online video to learn to rotate your car’s tires. Doing so can make a set last at least twice as long and save you a substantial amount of money on mechanic’s fees.

Keep air pressure at listed levels of PSI (pounds per square inch). The number is inscribed on the side of every tire.

Finally, check wear regularly, and replace tires that are getting within a quarter inch of their tread depth. Maintaining adequate pressure can keep MPG at its highest level, assuming all engine components are operating correctly.

Wheel with steel rim on a red car

Work for 1 Year Before College

Several generations ago, most high school grads who intended to earn college degrees would work a full-time job for a year or more before heading back to the books.

The arrangement is becoming more popular today as tuition rates soar and young adults are discovering the value of gaining real-world work experience before settling in for a four-year course of study in their chosen field.

student worker showing menu list to a female customer in a cafe

Take Online Community College Courses

Online community college classes are one of the best bargains in modern education.

Not only can students live at home after high school, but they can also take advantage of low-cost tuition at local two-year institutions before switching to state universities for their final semesters of a degree.

Some young adults enjoy online classes so much that they continue with them for the full four years of their college career.

Related Reading: How To Do Healthy Grocery Shopping On A Budget

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Learn Simple Car Repair Skills

Take a basic auto repair class to learn how to change oil, replace air filters, diagnose engine problems, replace brake fluid, and do dozens of other chores that can keep repair and service bills as low as possible.

Consider investing in a set of standard tools and carrying them in the trunk for emergency fixes.

When you are trying to live within your means you will be amazed at the cost savings you can experience by learning how to do some of these common repairs yourself. 

Refueling and pouring oil quality into the engine motor car

Invest In an OBDII Device

OBD (onboard diagnostic) technology has been around for more than a decade, and the available devices keep getting better every year.

Even for those on a budget, the latest iteration of the product, now called OBDII, is a wise investment because it can catch many engine problems in the early stages.

For less than $100, you can pick up a device at any auto parts store and use it to get detailed, instant computer read-outs of engine status.

OBDs can save way more than $100 over the course of an average year, especially for owners of older vehicles. 

Using the unit weekly can offer a strong level of protection against car problems that start small but become serious in just a few days, like fuel line leaks, gasket trouble, oil pressure volatility, and many more.

Plus, it takes zero technical skill to connect and read the OBD’s results screen. It displays numerical codes you can look up online for detailed explanations.

Give the information to a mechanic so the shop can hone in on specific problems.

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Last Updated on 13th June 2023 by Emma

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