Smart and Doable: How College Students Can Save Money Now
Saving money in college might appear a little bit impossible, given the little amount a student possibly has. But even the tight budget you have can allow you to set aside a few bucks for your savings. Besides, it is absolutely doable!
Think about it. Your side hustle starts generating more money, and your college life starts to feel great. Your tuition, room and board, food and several other expenses have been catered for, and all you have is a lot to finance your college escapades.
Well, it is acceptable to enjoy the freedom of being a college student. But don’t screw up by wasting the entire chunk of money you’ve toiled hard for when you could save a fraction of it. Instead, learn to save and live on a tight budget.
Why save while you are still a student?
See, saving money while you are still in college sets the right financial management foundation that you will carry along with you for the rest of your life. You will initiate good personal financial habits and grow to be an excellent saver, even when you finally land a well-paying job.
It also serves as a perfect way of reciprocating for the kind gesture your parents did by emptying their savings for the sake of your education. You will somehow help slash the cost for them and effectively allow your siblings’ financial needs to be paid for as well.
How to Save Money as a College Student
And so, whether your college life is exciting with lots of cash or it is ordinary, just like any other student’s life, these are the best strategies of saving your money in college:
Create a budget and stick to it
The more you be a carefree student, spending all that’s in your account or the funds offered by your parents, the more your financial future suffers. You may never have the necessary monetary discipline required to manage your money once you are out of college prudently.
To stop the carefree spending behavior, start by creating a simple budget that works. In the budget, you should identify the total amount of money you get within a particular period and the main expenses you meet with it. Once everything is correctly mapped out, and your budget has been well created, stick to it.
Get the right bank and a secured credit card with a spending limit
It is usual for banks within college towns to have several offers meant to entice collegians. Most of them do it to ensure you become their customer forever. But as a savvy, savings-oriented fellow, find a bank that aligns with your cost-cutting objectives. Basically, go for a bank with free checking accounts, no-fee ATMs, free online banking, free fund transfer, the freedom to pay bills for free and so forth.
As for your credit card, go for it if it comes with a $500 limit. A secured credit card is the best for your long-term saving goal because it will teach you the art of paying off credit card debt, managing a balance and building a credit score.
Be a Smart-Saver; adopt diverse strategies
Coupon alerts: you are a college student, which fundamentally gives you the advantage of being in the know regarding various incentives. You could sign up for coupon alerts and earn huge discounts on your expenses, save with fin-tech apps and keep your splurging habits in check.
Buy used instead of new: this should apply to various college essentials, especially books, electronics, furniture and other stuff. Another smart saving strategy for college students entails eliminating habits that needlessly empty your budget. You could limit your Uber rides, ban Espresso dates and also learn to cook at your room.
Better still, always take advantage of student discounts while shopping for specific goods. If you are buying a laptop, go for Apple, Microsoft or Dell for they often offer cheaper student-only pricing.
Save to build your credit score: as a student, take advantage of your college life to start and maintain a good credit score. You could use credit monitoring tools such as Credit Karma, install favorite money-saving apps on your phone and be smart with your money.
Be an early bird while paying your student loan: you can start paying off the loan before it starts accumulating interests while you are still in school. You can fund this using your side hustles or part of your savings.
Avoid penalties: don’t forget to pay off your bills before they start accumulating penalties. Credit cards are fond of charging hefty fees for little violations. To avoid this, always be mindful of your student bills.
Use college amenities instead of the pricey, out-of-college ones too. Such things as college gym, movie nights and sporting events within the college will offer the same thrill as what’s offered out there.
Windfalls and unexpected incomes: don’t forget to be smart about that one-time cash windfall. When it comes, don’t hesitate to forward a more significant chunk of it to your savings fund.
Remember: keep your ATM card at bay!
Perhaps the most crucial money-saving strategy for a college student is to keep the ATM card at arm’s length. This entails keeping the card away so that you aren’t prompted to frequent the ATM and check something out. You should also avoid visiting the machine and instead limit the visits to once per week.
When holiday arrives, and you are supposed to head home, hit the road smartly. You could ask a friend to drop you on their way or scour the web for companies offering great student travel discounts. Mostly, Greyhound and Amtrak provide massive discounts.
Automate your saving strategy; set saving goals
All these habits will amount to something only if you automate them. For every coin you save, right from slashing your expenses to living a frugal lifestyle, let it go straight to your savings account. And you should remit them as soon as you earn it.
Therefore, after you’ve mustered all of the above-stated habits, make sure they create a change. Basically, set a weekly or savings goal and work towards it. It could be saving $20 in a week, $50 in a month or any amount you are comfortable with.
Saving money in college is possible!
In conclusion, get smart with your savings goal in college. It is doable and rewarding, but will require lots of dedication. Saving money at college, no matter how small the amount is, isn’t similar to saving nothing.