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Something about being in college makes people think you’re not saving money. Perhaps you’ve even bought into the broke-college-kid experience and spent frivolously for the fun of it. However, it’s always crucial to be saving for your future. You never know when you’ll need to dip into your rainy-day fund.
Are you looking to learn how to save money as a student? Here are eight money-saving tips and tricks to help you thrive in college.
1. Find Student Bank Accounts
Whether you’re saving for college or looking to increase your student savings, having the right bank account can do a lot to help you. Banks adjust their fees, interest rates, and maintenance costs with student accounts. Some also offer educational materials and online resources.
If you’re looking to be more prudent about your savings and checking accounts, check out different banks and see what benefits they offer students.
2. Eat In More
While going out to local restaurants and bars once you’re of age is a lot of fun, it also adds up quickly. Meal plans add a lot to your bill as well. The average cost of a meal plan at United States colleges is around $4,500. Some schools might be lower, but others could be even higher.
Take a look at the cost of your university meal plan. Could you cut that from your payments and stick to grocery shopping?
3. Research Scholarships
Scholarships are vital for saving money long-term. If you’re currently working to pay for college, they can take a lot of stress off your shoulders. Find resources to help you locate and apply for scholarships. The extra money will help you reduce how much you owe on your tuition bill and student loans.
Scholarships are one of the smartest ways to save money as a student. Once you feel secure, you can also have more financial freedom.
4. Rent Books and Living Spaces
Anyone in college will tell you how much textbooks cost them. They can be outrageously expensive and sometimes required to be a specific edition. Instead of buying all of your books, look at resources that rent them out. Consider buying them only if you’ll be using them repeatedly and not just for one class.
Plenty of universities require first-year students to live on campus. However, look at local apartments once you’re in your second year – or if your school doesn’t have this requirement. These are often much cheaper than dorms.
5. Keep Track of Spending
If you have a hard time figuring out how much money you spend in a month, use an app to track your transactions. It could be as simple as typing your purchases into a notes app on your device. Some banks might offer this in their mobile features, or you could look for one on whatever app store you use to download apps.
Whichever way you choose, tracking your spending is an excellent way for students to save money.
6. Make Use of Student Discounts
When you’re spending, always check to see if the store you’re buying from offers a student discount. Stores that include them range from software to retail outlets. There is a multitude of options for college discounts, so check them out before you graduate. These will help you save on many things – from decor to school supplies.
As you’re preparing for school or looking for something to spruce up your room, look out for student discounts and coupons.
7. Pay Credit Card Bills Quickly
For those just heading out to college, you might have found yourself applying for your first credit card. Building good credit is essential for the future, as it can get you reduced interest on future loans and other credit cards.
However, the key to good credit is paying off your bills as soon as possible. Paying on time can also help you avoid extra fees. Remember the importance of paying your bills as fast as possible.
8. Make a Budget
Budgeting is one of the best money-management tips, and starting early will help you in the future. Once you’ve figured out how much you typically spend a month, you can establish a budget. It can consist of necessary things like:
- Savings deposits
From there, you can figure out how much you want for “walking-around money.” Allow yourself to have some fun on top of saving – you’re in college, after all!
The Importance of Saving Money
Knowing how to save money will be a vital ability throughout your life. Saving is important for immediate emergencies, fun outings, and your retirement. It’s also critical so that you can make sure you have enough money for your necessary purchases.
For prospective and current college students, following these money-saving tips can help you learn crucial management skills.