Here are some tips to help build your savings so you can make extra room in your budget for essentials and maybe even a little for new memories with loved ones.
Save The Money You Have Already
If you don’t have one already, open a savings account. It’s not easy to set aside money, but it’s a necessary step to making smart financial decisions for the unexpected or future plans. Stay consistent and remember a little goes a long way.
When it comes to checking accounts — you have options. Maximize savings by selecting one that’s free. Keep more of your money by not paying monthly fees and increase savings by earning cash back.
Get A Job
If you’re disciplined in managing your time and putting your studies first, getting a job is a great way to save. In addition to part-time jobs, students can search for federal work-study programs and on-campus jobs. If you’re looking for something more flexible, don’t discount the value of side hustles.
Any of these options can help grow your savings, allowing you to pay for current expenses so you borrow less and/or better position you to pay off student debt after you graduate.
Being a student really does have its perks. Carry your student ID on you at all times so you’re able to take advantage of student discounts many businesses offer. Make sure to ask at movie theaters, retail stores, and restaurants. Also, check out websites like StudentBeans and UNiDAYS for more ways to save.
Explore Textbook Options
Textbooks are a necessity, but don’t be fooled into thinking you have to buy them new. Buying used or renting them is one of the easiest ways to save money. Explore the many online options, such as Amazon or Chegg, when shopping for books. Also, check with peers who took the same class to see if they still have their textbook or see if it’s available to check out at your school’s library.
There are several options to save money on one of the most expensive aspects to being a college student, so make sure you use them!
Transportation And Travel
If you need to get around, ride a bike or use free transportation whenever possible. Most campuses have free buses and shuttles to help students get from one end of campus to the other. Visit your local transit authority’s website to see if there are student passes or discounts available for off-campus travel.
If you’re traveling home for breaks, try carpooling with someone you know that’s headed in the same direction or, better yet, the same location. This way you both can save by sharing the expense. If flying, use one of the multiple travel websites to find deals—including Expedia, Orbitz, or CheapFlights.
While education is the priority, everyone wants to relax and have fun in college. This is the time when you build lifelong relationships and begin networking for your future.
You can do all this without breaking the bank by attending free events on and off campus, using the campus gym, cutting cable for streaming services, and asking about student discounts.
Use A Planner
A planner is good for more than just scheduling your day, week, or month. It can be used to help budget for planned events or ones you’re interested in going to. Write down the event and how much you think you’ll spend next to it. This will allow you to see your expected costs and potentially spend less on certain events to save for other things.
It’s scary and exciting to be on your own as a college freshman. Money can be a source of stress for some, but these seven tips will help you get in the habit of saving. Establishing your savings and good habits now will get you on the path to financial success.