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Tips to Decrease Law School Expenses

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

That advice should top the list of tips on how to save on law school expenses. It's about cost-cutting, wherever you can.

Jeremy Kemp, a law student at the University of Virginia, is a great example. He cut out paying rent. Instead, he lives in his van.

1. Rent

You don't have to live in your car to save money in law school, but you should consider alternatives -- like sharing an apartment or renting a room. After all, rent is probably the biggest expense after tuition -- and that's a whole 'nother story.

Kemp makes car-life work because, besides being frugal, he's an environmentalist. He converted his $5,000 cargo van into a little cabin.

"If you think about it, the rental market doesn't make that much sense here," Kemp told the Daily Progress. "The van's not super glamorous, but it works."

2. Transportation

If you don't live in your car, do you really need it to get to school or work? In most metropolitan areas, public transportation is a relative bargain.

A monthly bus pass for college students in Los Angeles is $43, which is less expensive than a car payment, insurance, gas and parking anywhere in the country.

A bicycle is even cheaper.

3. Food

"Eating out" is the first part of "eating out of house and home." Think about it.

Eateries make a killing in college towns. The number of vending machines, fast-food places, cafes, bistros, and restaurants might exceed the number of first-year students at your law school.

Buy a loaf of bread, a spreadable, canned meat, soup, instant oatmeal, a bag of apples and some greens, and you are good for a week and only $25 lighter. Eat at McDonald's for a semester and you are 25 pounds heavier.

4. Entertainment

OK, a Spartan's life would be death without some entertainment. But you don't have to go the gymnasium and run around naked like the Greek Olympians.

Anyway, you don't have to go to a commercial gym. Cut your membership, buy a bike, tour the park, and enjoy nature that way.

Then ride to class, eat your sandwich, and return to your candle-lit cabin to sleep. As long as you don't have to give up your $500 cell phone and $80 monthly data plan, you can do this.

Because that would be death.

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