College is expensive. The only way to have the full experience is to either get a full scholarship, be independently wealthy, save lots of money, or take out loans. Most people don’t have the first two options. Yet for so many around the world, saving money is almost impossible, leaving the majority to borrow against the future they’re trying to build in the first place.

In order to put some back, you have to bring in more than you need. Even then, it is a matter of prioritizing. What many do to save is compromise on quality, eliminating the slightest hint of luxury and excess. They become price shoppers, and never purchase anything more expensive than the bare minimum.

But in doing so, they don’t always save money. In fact, one of the best ways to waste money is to always select the cheapest option. There are a number of reasons for this that are not immediately obvious. Here are a few ways spending a little more can help you save big in the long run:


Spend Money to Protect Your Devices

iPhones are expensive. If you already own one, then you already know that. Hopefully, experience has not yet taught you how expensive an iPhone can be to repair. For many people, an iPhone is essential college equipment. A broken screen will always come at an inconvenient time, and will always cost you more than you want to spend.

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iPhone 6 screen protection is a must for the college student reading their texts in iBooks, interacting with the professors via iTunes U, and taking recorded notes using the built-in voice recorder on what is perhaps the most popular iPhone Apple has ever produced.

Additionally, you should also spring for AppleCare+ at the time of purchase. Sure, that is an additional expense that could have gone into savings. But you will find it well worth the price if your iPhone is damaged and needs to be replaced. By spending a little extra up front, you save a ton in repair or replacement costs down the road.

Spend Money on a Higher Degree

The most expensive college degree in the world is the one you don’t use. In highly competitive industries, it is not enough to have a general education Bachelor’s degree. You are already in student loan debt. It is almost always better to go a little further in debt and go for the Master’s.

There are ways to save money on Master’s degree tuition. You don’t need the full campus experience for many graduate programs. You are mostly reading, writing papers, and monitoring lectures. That is why many advanced degree programs have moved online.

Graduate degree holders earn almost 40% more than their Bachelor’s counterparts, length of tenure notwithstanding. With that kind of benefit, you can actually afford to pay back your student loan. Don’t let frugality cause you to earn a near useless degree. Spend a little more and get the most out of your education.

Spend Money on a Tutor

The worst thing is to save for college, and not get in because of poor academic performance. If you are having a little trouble keeping up in a crowded classroom, you would not be the first person in that situation. And tutors aren’t free. It will definitely cost a little money.

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But the reward is that you gain mastery over a challenging subject and get into a better school. In turn, that positively affects you paycheck for the rest of your life.

The reward of a tutor is even greater once you get into college. The classes just get tougher from there. It makes no sense to save money on tuition, but have to drop out because you couldn’t keep up. The whole reason you have been saving the money is to graduate from college. A private tutor may be the most important college expense you have next to tuition.

At the end of the day, saving money is not necessarily about a scheme that keeps more money in your pocket. It is about finding the most effective use for the money you have. Use your college money more effectively by protecting your gear, maximizing your degree, and hiring a tutor when needed. Otherwise, your savings were for naught.