College students often struggle with student loans and debts despite receiving funds from their parents and financial aid offered by their institute because of costly tuition fees and high living costs. Knowing how to save money in college has thus become a necessity and is not simply a lifestyle choice anymore.
Amidst all the excitement of a new beginning, fear of the unknown, socializing and partying with friends and not to mention the ever present assignment deadlines you can easily lose track of your budgeting. Therefore, we have collected for you the experience of countless travelers who have walked the hallowed halls of their alma meters with empty pockets so that you do not have to.
Our Sincerest Advice: Do not wait to get empty pockets before you start saving up money in college.
How to Save Money In College Efficiently
Written below are easy and practical tips that illustrate how to live on a tight budget while still having fun.
Alter Your Lifestyle
You would have to happily make positive amends in your lifestyle, which would seem hard in the beginning but fruitful later.
Buy Cheap Eatables
Low-cost food is not necessarily of low quality. There are plenty of snacks like low-carb pasta that you can buy for a lower price from convenient stores in bulk that reduces the overall cost compared to the ones you might buy from vending machines on campus.
Buy Groceries on Sale
Buying groceries on sale can help you to save a lot of money. You can get grocery items half the price on a sale than its actual price. Buying products nearing the expiration date would be pretty beneficial and save you a lot of cash as these products do not get expired immediately and are entirely usable. You can even freeze the foods nearing the expiration date, which would keep them perfectly fine and edible.
Buy Used Clothes
Many online consignment stores and thrift shops sell branded clothes at a lower price. As you go off to college, you would need plenty of clothes to wear every day. Bringing novelty in your style and keeping up with fashion could become arduous if you aim to buy brand new clothes for daily use. Therefore, a thrift store is your best option to choose your style from a comprehensive collection of fashionable clothes. It’ll help you to save a tremendous amount of cash in college. You can buy quality clothes as cheap as $6 or branded clothes for $30 to $40. Hence, you do not have to spend hundreds of dollars on clothes.
Use Public Transport
If you live off-campus and college is far, then consider taking public transport instead of using a car in case you own one and even know how to drive well. Public transports are usually relatively inexpensive, whereas your car’s fuel and maintenance could cost a lot of money.
If you live off-campus, then going for a shared apartment would be an excellent money-saving technique. You can easily split the rent and save a good amount of cash in your savings account. The more roommates, the better!
If you do not know how to cook, start learning because cooking your meals can significantly cut your expenses. Often college students spend their money by eating outside, which can cost a lot. Therefore, cooking meals at home is one of the best ways to save money in college.
Make Use of College Benefits
You should make use of all the benefits provided by the college. The on-campus facilities like printing, library use, free health check-ups, and counseling can aid you in your smart spending in school.
Avail Student Discounts
You should avail student discounts whenever you get the chance. Many places offer student discounts on foods, specific activities, entertainment, and clothes. You should follow up with any money-saving tricks for students to save your money in college.
Get A Part-time Job
If you can manage to get a part-time job with studies, it would be a great way to save a handsome amount of money which you can use later in case of emergencies and, of course, to pay off your student loans. However, if you are unable to balance work and study then you should consider exploring passive income ideas for college students.
Cut Down Expenses on College Necessities
You can easily save quite a large amount of money if you cut down your college necessities expenses.
Use Second-hand Textbooks
There are many ways to save money on textbooks. You must know how expensive buying new textbooks can be; therefore, you should buy used books and resell them later to recover your spending. You can find all kinds of books in your College library such as textbooks, books based on true stories, books for your courses. Moreover, use eBooks or easily rent them as well to save money.
Use Free Software
As a college student, you might need specific software to do your assignments and projects. Instead of downloading expensive software, look for the ones that are free or find any other alternatives and free apps that could fill in their place.
Use College Printer
Use printers available on campus for printing as they offer free printing instead of buying a printer because it will cost more money.
Live Near College
You should find a location to live near your college if possible to save money on transportation.
Apply for Scholarships
While you are at your college, you should maintain an excellent academic record and apply for scholarships. Look for scholarships you could be eligible to use. Because the awarded money can cover up a large chunk of your tuition fee.
Maintain An Excellent Academic Record
Studying hard is a fundamental student investment in his career and future. Therefore, if you are on a mission to save money in college, invest adequate time in your studies. Maintaining an excellent academic record is essential. Because, if you fail any classes, you would have to spend extra money to retake those classes and give exams again.
Avoid Buying Unnecessary College Supplies
You should avoid buying unnecessary college supplies. Especially accessories like expensive pens, notebooks, and other stuff if you do not need them to save money in college and use a laptop more often to take notes.
Manage Your Finances
Managing finances as a college student should be your priority. You should have a sound sense of handling money to get rid of student loan payments with ease.
Download Free Budgeting Apps
Many apps help you keep track of your spending pattern and do budgeting for you. You can plan savings easily by using such apps.
Open Account in Banks with Student Benefits
You should open an account in banks that provide students unique benefits and packages like wavier account opening and holding charges and lower interest rates.
Manage Credit Cards
To save money, you have to pay for all the money you use through credit cards diligently. Using credit cards can be tricky because people quickly forget about paying off the debt by delaying payments. As a college student, it can become quite difficult for you to regularly pay interest fees if you fail to pay for them at once.
Invest Your Extra Savings
Students often wonder how to invest the money as college students. Therefore, if you are a business student or have significant financial sense, you should try investing in a small business to earn profits. In fact, if you are smart enough you should start investing in property every now and then. You could invest money in stocks as well to create more than one money-making streamline. Next time, if the question of how to invest as a college student comes to your mind, do not hesitate to invest your savings in a business that you see fit.
It is no lie that 50% of students fear dropping out of college due to unexpected financial circumstances. Therefore, every college student should start saving up money in college right from the beginning.
You can have a lot of fun in college by participating in different clubs and activities without spending a penny and splitting the money with friends to enjoy other means of entertainment. Therefore, you should make sure to save your precious money to pay off your student loans and live a debt-free life. Paying off your loans early will allow you to keep your earnings freely to invest in your future and retirement plans.