7 Effective Money-Saving Tips for College Students

7 Effective Money-Saving Tips for College Students
While the whole experience of going to college ought to be productive, inspiring, and fun, the last thing you want it to be is financially draining (both during your college years and after you graduate). There are lots of ways to survive and thrive in college without overdrawing your ATM account or breaking your parents’ bank account.

As a student, adopting a saving strategy while in college can be a daunting task, especially due to the rising tuition fees and living expenses.  

Most students are living on a tight budget and are likely to get into a cycle of debt. Learning to save is crucial to financial success in college and the future. When you start saving early, you can enjoy the benefits of compound interest that most savings accounts offer. Saving is doable with a minute sacrifice and financial savvy. Here are seven ways to get you started.

1. Buy or Rent Second-Hand Books

Before walking into a bookstore, find out if you can borrow the books you need from friends. The purchase price of new books can be exorbitant, especially at the beginning of the semester since numerous books are required. 

You can also rent used textbooks at Amazon.com or order digital books which offer a flexible payment model.

After that, you can resell the books once through the semester and acquire some cash.

2. Live in a shared space

Living in a shared space can save you money in comparison to living alone. Splitting rent and utility bills with your roommates will leave you with a significant amount to save. You can also use free subscriptions where possible.

3. Sign Up for a Side Hustle

Another way to save is taking on a side hustle. You can turn a hobby into a side hustle and make extra cash. For example, making bracelets, writing blogs, or tutoring online.  Although studies will take up most of your time, you can choose to work in your free time either on the weekends or evening hours after classes.

4. Put to Use students discounts

Carrying a student id can get you discounts from clothing to food. Various retail stores, restaurants, cell phone plan providers, and cultural places offer discounts to students. Before you get down to enjoying a product or service, ask if there are discounts for students. Having a student id can also get you discounted tech products.

5. Do Away with The Car

While it is convenient to have a car for traveling anytime you want to, the cost associated with having a car is expensive, such as parking fees, fuel, maintenance and repair, and insurance. Alternatively, you can walk, cycle, or use public transport which is cheaper and saves on transportation costs.

6. Track Your Finances

Keeping check of your finances is crucial to saving. Knowing where you spend your money ensures you utilize cash wisely. Some of the tools you can use to track finances are paper trails, credit card statements, and online services. Choose the best time you prefer to track your expenses, either daily or weekly. Once you have collected the information for a month, make a budget and follow it.

7. Take Advantage of Coupons

Using vouchers can be an excellent way to save on purchases for college students with a tight budget. You can buy goods in bulk within the validity period of the coupon. Goods with a longer shelf-life are preferred.

8. Eat the Campus Food

Forego that ride with your friends to the local fast food joint and, instead, fill up on the food that you have already paid for in the school cafeteria. While you may not like everything they have to offer during every meal, there will certainly be plenty of fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, cereals, loaves of bread, and salads from which to choose. Don’t pick up the tab for the weekend delivery of the pizzas and don’t buy junk out of the vending machines. All of that money that you save will create an impressive little nest egg for yourself by the time you graduate. Yes, it’s hard to do, but your figure, your health, and your pocketbook will be rewarded.

9. Go to Campus Movies

Instead of paying that outrageous amount to go to the local movie theatre (not to mention the box of popcorn and pop combo you’ll want), head to the free movies shown right on campus. You’ll meet more people, you’ll have more fun, and you won’t spend nearly as much for the microwave popcorn you can bring to share. Besides, you’re not really going for the flick anyway – it’s the bonding and laughter with your new and old friends that matter most.

10. Budget

The most important step is to budget. Every month open your bank and write down all the expenses in a spreadsheet. Then compare it with the previous month's expenses; to find where you could have potentially saved money.

Bottom-line: Start a savings account

Financial health is essential. However difficult it may sound, start saving the little you have. You don’t have to spend all your money

Cultivate saving culture while you are young, you don’t have to wait until you earn big money to save. You can create a separate locked account for savings.

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