Knowing how to effectively manage finances is a big factor that separates a child from a high-functioning adult. For instance, college students can have a challenging time trying to spend within their means. It’s even more difficult to save money or otherwise learn how to make extra money as a student.
So, if you’re still in college and would like to level up your saving habits, read on to learn practical and realistic saving tips:
1. Apply for easy, part-time gigs
It’s no secret that you could save more money if you have more income. If you
wouldn’t mind working in a little more hustle into your schedule, then you
could try to look for part-time jobs that aren’t too demanding. You could opt
for conventional ones like being a waiter or an assistant.
However, if you want to add a bit of excitement to your job and love pets at the same time, then you could also make money as a pet sitter.
2. Choose your bank wisely
You probably haven’t opened a bank account while you were still in high school. Now that you’re in college, it’s imperative that you have your own so that you have a reliable, off-site place to deposit your money.
Take your time in picking out a student-friendly bank that ideally offers savings accounts with the following features:
- Reasonable interest rates
- Minimum to zero maintaining balances
- Minimum to zero deposit and withdrawal fees
You’d think that bank fees less than 5USD have no effect in the grander scheme of things, but if you’re going to be with a bank for the entirety of your undergraduate career, all those “minimal” fees would add up to a number that would surprise you.
3. Keep your online shopping habits in check
It’s not a problem if retail therapy is your go-to sanity break during midterms and hell weeks, but try as much as you can not to go overboard. If you really can’t let go of online shopping completely, you can start taking baby steps by setting a sending limit and, more importantly, sticking to it.
Once you feel like you have a bit more self-control, and if it’s a possible option, you can try to disconnect your debit or credit card from the Internet so that purchasing things online wouldn’t be so easy and instant for you.
4. Don’t brush off second-hand items
This tip isn’t just limited to expensive textbooks. Try to warm up to the idea of buying used furniture, gadgets, and even clothes to spend a little less each month. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you could even stumble upon something that’s still in perfect working condition since it was only used once or twice.
Here’s a word of warning, though: don’t immediately trust all the claims of a seller who is trying to make you believe. It’s advisable that you check the item you want to purchase in person first, so you can see for yourself if it’s legitimate.
5. Cook your own meals
In most cases, people prefer eating out or buying take-out over cooking their own food at home. However, the latter is definitely cheaper than going out to eat all the time. Aside from that, cooking food for yourself could also be healthier for you since you’d have more control over which and how much ingredients you use.
If your dorm room allows it, try to up your kitchen game and invest in a portable induction cooker to make your life easier; it can get the work done without taking up too much space.
6. Watch out for student and loyal customer discounts
Whether it’s offered by your favorite coffee house or your chosen ride-hailing app, student discounts are usually a dime a dozen, so make sure to avail them as often as you can to minimize the money that you spend. Apart from that, some establishments and businesses also offer loyal customer discounts, so don’t forget to ask the places you often visit.
7. Get the most out of your school supplies
It can be tempting to buy new school supplies every
semester, especially when brands regularly come up with new styles and designs.
However, try to get the most out of your school supplies and only buy new ones
when necessary. For instance, if your notebooks from last semester still have a
lot of unused pages, there’s no shame in using them again.
Managing your finances wisely while you’re still in college is not too far-fetched of an idea, especially if you abide by at least one of these tips and eat at home, buy used items, or control your online shopping. It’s also worth saying that honing saving habits as early as now would help you curb your spending urges when you’re older. This could really save you numerous headache-inducing loans in the future.