They say that college years are the best years of your life. Do you agree? I do. College is the time for new learnings, meeting new people, experiencing different kinds of fun, being introduced to new philosophies in life; the time to pursue your dreams and goals and enjoy your freedom and independence.
Whether you’re an incoming freshman or an ongoing college student, you should know that with the freedom and independence, comes a bigger responsibility.
One of the obligations that you have is managing your own finances which can be challenging.
If you are a parent who wants to talk to your child about personal finance or a college student who wants to get ideas, here are 7 money-saving tips to keep in mind all throughout your college life.
1. Track your spending.
From necessities to small or big splurges, you should really take note of each time you spend in order to see where your money is going. Use a planner, a mobile expense tracker app or even just a cheap old notebook. What’s important is you list down all that you have spent on every day and get a clear picture of your money flow.
2. Create a budget.
Map out all your incoming money like the allowance that you get from your parents, income from a job, grants, financial aid or money from student loans. From there, categorize your expenses and make sure to STICK TO IT.
3. Set financial limits.
Put a strict financial limit on your expenses but also make sure to not deprive yourself. Hey, you need to have fun too. Just know how much to spend on unnecessary or impulse purchases and have a separate limit for essential and college necessities.
4. Spend wisely.
Speaking of unnecessary purchases, if you want to minimize your student debt, you should know how to spend wisely. Try to resist temptation as much as possible and know what’s essential and what’s not. Always be practical and think about your future before making any purchase via cash or credit card.
5. Make use of Student Discounts.
College students have a lot of privileges on most vendors, local venues, restaurants and services. So make use of this to save more and minimize your expenses.
6. Save money on text books.
College textbooks are expensive but there are a few ways to save on it by looking for used textbooks on Amazon, eBay, Craigslist or posts on your own campus bulletins.
7. Get a part time job.
There are a lot of work-study positions available for college students depending on the location and a lot of part-time jobs to choose from. Just make sure that you will be able to manage your time properly between your job and school workload.