How to Save Money as a College Student: Your Complete Guide

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  • Being in college is a crazy, transitional part of your life.

    You’re an adult, but you’re still in school. You’re out of your parents’ home, but you still rely on them for a lot of things. Not to mention, you’re incredibly busy all the time!

    One of the biggest struggles during this stage of your life is just trying to get by financially. That’s why it’s really important to learn how to save money as a college student.

    Whether you’re working a part-time job or have an allowance from your parents, you need to keep expenditures low. It may seem easier said than done, but it’s not impossible.

    Check out our top tips on saving money!

    How to Save Money as a College Student

    As we said before, it may be difficult learning how to save money as a college student, but it’s not impossible. It will mostly require a lot of self-control on your end. However, you’ll be much better off for following these steps.

    Take a look.

    • 1. Put Yourself on a Budget

      First, you need to make a budget for yourself. You need to have a very clear idea about how much money you have for each month and how much is going out.

      For example, make a list of all of your expenditures, every single dollar needs to be accounted for. This includes all of your debts, bills, groceries, dining, etc.

      Use your budget to figure out where you can save and start cutting out the excess expenditures.

    • 2. Get a Deal on Textbooks

      Secondly, you want to get a good deal on your textbooks. Students can spend as much as $1,200 a year on books!

      Buy used, find great deals on new ones, or rent them. Check out this site for some options! The last thing you want to do is buy brand new books from the campus.

    • 3. Limit Eating Out

      While learning how to save money as a college student, you’ll need to learn how to become more self-sufficient. For example, you need to stop eating out all the time.

      Eating out for lunch and dinner every night can quickly eat up your budget. Regardless of what your friends are doing, you need to implement some discipline here.

    • 4. Be Smart About Credit Cards

      Credit cards aren’t a bad idea. In fact, if used wisely, its a good way to build up your credit score.
      However, you’ll want to be very careful with credit cards, as they can easily get away from you. The average American has over $16,000 in credit card debt. Don’t be average!

      Instead, keep your credit card limit at a reasonable amount. Pay it off every month and don’t get behind. Finally, reject any offers for more credit cards or higher limits.

    • 5. Bike, Don’t Drive

      Lastly, learning how to save money as a college student means making sacrifices. Assuming the weather is decent, try biking everywhere instead of driving. Even if you already have a car, if funds are tight, gas can be a huge expenditure.

      If you don’t have transportation, seriously consider buying a bike rather than a car. This will save you thousands of dollars upfront and even more in gas.

    other valuable tips:

    Get Ahead

    One of the most important things about learning how to save money as a college student is getting ahead of the curve. Start early and keep good habits.

    Remember, it’s easier to keep up than to catch up!

    For more helpful tips and advice about college life, check out the rest of our blog!

    Image Credit: Pixabay

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    Off-to-College reference:

    GUIDE: making the move to college

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