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You are not alone. Not everyone makes it right in budgeting at the beginning, especially when it comes to schooltime. Rising tuition and living expenses make it increasingly difficult for students to maintain a budget. But don’t be panic; there are many excellent ways to save money in college. We’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts for how to save money as a college student. Join BestLifeTips for best college money-saving tips.
Why college students should save money?
You are your credit score. It says a lot about your financial health and your spending behavior. The good news is you have complete control over your credit rating.
One of the most common ways college students sabotage their budgets is by spending large sums of money on items they can live without. Separating wants from necessities and limiting the majority of your spending to things you truly need is an important aspect of basic money management.
There is a significant difference between getting a credit card and applying for every credit card offer that comes your way. Avoiding spending more than you can afford is one of the most fundamental principles of good money management. When you have several credit cards, it is all too easy to accumulate a large amount of debt that you will struggle to repay, even if your maximum balances on each card aren’t very high.
Benefits of saving money for students
You can say being a student costs far more than it should. Because you are unable to work full time and spend thousands of dollars per year—thanks to textbooks, tuition, and other expenses! As a result, it is difficult to manage money, let alone save money as a student. However, don’t assume that you can’t save money or you can start budgeting later on. Here are reasons why college students should save money.
- Reduce your financial stress: First and foremost, you don’t have to deal with financial stress—though we all face it to some extents. At least, not having to worry about how to pay next month’s rent payment or how you’ll get enough food for the week makes your life simpler.
- Cover unexpected increased expenses: It’s financially safe as a student, you are currently entitled to numerous discounts and get support from your parents. But as soon as you finish your studies? You immediately become a part of the reality. There will be no more student discounts. There will be no more subsidized housing, and your parents will no longer help you with your monthly bills.
- Build up a habit of saving on early age: Let money work for you, does it sound familiar? But before you can make it happen, learn not to put yourself on financial depression first.
- Build up your confidence: Financial safety at least makes you believe that you can handle anything, an emergency situation, unexpected expense, a surprise for your crush for example. The more you can take control of your life, the higher sense of responsibility you have. That makes you different from others when it comes to adulthood.
- You have the choice: Don’t let money limit your choices: a dream job in another country, higher education, a better car, a personal project, etc. In other words, you must save money in order to keep your options open. Even if you’re not sure what your options are right now. Put your 100% effort and strengthen your finances to get ready when opportunities come.
- Live a life on your way: It’s so-called freedom! It might start from a little bit of cash but give it time to grow. As a student, all you have are time and energy so don’t waste it. You will thank college yourself for being conscious about money that sets you free and makes you believe in yourself.
How to save money as a college student
While some of you may say it’s almost impossible to save any cash during college time, BestLifeTips says it’s possible. Here are practical ways to save money as a college student.
- Rule number 1: Regularly check upon your bank account
When you go to school, you will need an easily accessible bank account. Examine the checking and savings account options provided by local banks. Many of them provide free checking, and among those that do, some provide sign-up bonuses. If your bank does not provide a completely free checking account, switch now and explain why.
- Rule number 2: Sign up for membership
Most college students have never been to a grocery store. Sign up for the preferred customer card at the grocery store where you intend to shop to receive additional savings.
- Rule number 3: Selling used Books
If you don’t like the curriculum you bought for your classes, sell the books back to your university or to other students. There is usually a small window of opportunity to do this after each semester ends, so be aware of any book return deadlines ahead of time.
- Rule number 4: Don’t be late
Students are procrastinators by nature. Returning a movie or book from the library is never as difficult as you make it out to be. Late fees can quickly eat into your spending money, and if they occur frequently enough, they can have an impact on how you live in college. Avoid them because they cause stress and drain your bank account.
Money management for college students
Saving and budgeting for college can help relieve stress once college application season arrives, and there are many options available to students and their families. Personal savings plans, as well as other savings options, are always available. Saving self-discipline and accurate bookkeeping are essential when saving for college, as that first experience outside of one’s childhood home and the new freedom to make money and spending decisions for oneself come with many new temptations.
Budgeting for your living expenses and monthly bills is a great place to start when developing the savings strategy you’ll need to succeed. Remember that most student loans do not have to be repaid while a student is enrolled, so any reduction in overall debt that a student can make will help minimize repayment amounts upon graduation. Make a list of the bills you pay each month, and then add an estimate of how much you spend on personal items and groceries.
Subtract that amount from your monthly income, and the amount left over is the amount that could be put into savings. While you’re still in school, you could use that money to pay down some of the principal on any existing student loans. This is an excellent option for students because it allows them to reduce their student loan debt before interest accrues and payments begin.
Working while in college is also very common, and it allows students to not only make college a reality but also, ideally, gain experience in their field, perhaps through a work-study program or something similar. The most important thing to remember when working your way through school is that education comes first. There are numerous options available to students who want to work while attending school. Most, if not all, colleges and universities offer work-study programs, on-campus jobs, and resident assistant positions.
Budgeting tips for college students
Here is do and don’t list that simplify your finance management. List it down and give yourself more time to practice.
– Keep tracking your spending: Bullet journal, tracking apps or anything that suits you best. Inquire about checking and savings accounts customized to college students. These frequently have lower fees and no required minimum balance. To keep track of your balance and avoid costly overdraft fees, use online banking to check your balance on a regular basis.
– Plan your meal: Bring your meal to school and be aware of student discounts. The costs of eating out can quickly add up. Instead of spending money on lattes every morning, consider investing in a good coffee maker.
– Choose your house: As a student with a budget, it’s not necessary to waste on a house rental fee. Living in the dorms is usually less expensive than living off campus. Splitting the cost of housing with a roommate will allow you to stretch your housing budget even further.
– Take advantage of campus amenities: Get to know the activities available on campus. Everything from movie nights to fitness classes could be provided for free.
– Keep looking for scholarship: Some scholarships are renewable year after year. If you decide to reapply, make sure to submit your forms and letters of recommendation on time. Scholarships and grants can help you save money in college by covering your tuition and living expenses.
– Split subscriptions: Splitting Netflix or Hulu subscriptions with roommates or family members can also help you save money in college. Everyone gets to see the shows they want without having to pay the full price. Even better, some services, such as Spotify, have student-specific pricing, making it even easier to afford the content you want. When possible, use free versions of subscription services.
– Buy a car: It’s so clear that parking, gas, car maintenance and insurance cost you more. Take public transportation, borrow a friend’s car, or use a Zipcar to travel a long distance. Uber, Lyft, Grab are also reasonable options.
– Let your credit score be free: If you decide to get a credit card, get one with the lowest interest rate possible and charge only what you can afford to pay off in full each month. This will help you avoid late fees and expensive credit card debt while building good credit for the future.
– Buy new school supplies: Textbooks can be quite expensive. Before going to the campus bookstore, see if you can borrow books from another student or the university library. If not, you can buy or rent used textbooks from Amazon.com. Look for sources that you could buy second-hand school supplies.
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The key to saving for college is to plan ahead of time. The sooner you begin to save, the better. Even if time is not on your side, there are still plenty of options. Most students rely on federal, state, and private loans to make ends meet. Don’t forget that grants, scholarships, and student employment can all help you pay for your education. Give BestLifeTips a thumb up if you find this article helps you on how to save money as a college student and return for more tips on financial management.