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10 Basic Tips for College Students to Spend and Save Money Wisely

Save Money
You are in college. You could be getting allowance from your parents, earning as a working student, or on student loan. Wherever your money comes from, the good news is, there’s money in your pocket. The dilemma, on the other hand, lies on where your money goes. Or how you choose to let it go.

To help you, here are 10 Basic Tips for College Students to Spend and Save Money Wisely:

1) Make a Budget

That is most important. List down and estimate your monthly income and expenses. List down your other needs and wants, but segregate them. Write down their estimated costs. This should give you a quick and visual basis whenever you need to see whether you need to decide on spending on anything.

2) Spend Like a College Student

It is tempting to spend on things, but always be careful. Prioritize paying the bills and spending ONLY on what you need, not on things you can do without. Check your list!

You are not yet a full-time worker, so don’t be too entitled to use your family’s money or your student loans. Your resources are not unlimited. Messing up your budget could mess up your whole student life.

3) Be Responsible with Credit Cards

That is great advice that is always given to anyone, anywhere. Certainly, this applies to you. Live within your means—charge only what you can pay each month. If you can’t be responsible with your credit, leave it at home when you go out.

4) Keep a Good Credit Score

Always pay your bills on time, if not earlier, to avoid fees.

5) Save Up!

It’s not going to be easy, but it can help in the long run. You don’t have to deposit a big sum in one go. Do open a savings account, but don’t get one that is attached to your ATM card. Make it harder for you to access your saved money so you can’t go on a buying binge.

6) Don’t Be an Impulse Buyer

For instance, don’t purchase your grocery when you’re hungry because that may affect your buying decisions. Again, check your prepared list.

Buying something might seem like a good idea today, but it would be hard to return a purchase once the excitement wears off. Give it some more thought, sleep it off a few days, then decide whether you actually need it or not, if it will serve a good purpose in your life.

7) Keep records safe

Keep receipts, student loan documents and other financial statements safe. Chances are, you will need them for future references. Make things easier and less confusing when the time comes.

8) Be Practical

Socialize with your college peers without spending much. There are many activities, events and interests around campus that need not be expensive or high-maintenance; some are even free. You just need to find them and be wise in your decisions.

Some Ways to be Practical:

  • Limit your eating out.
  • Avoid expensive college meal plans.
  • Limit the vices.
  • Use public transportation.
  • Live with others so you can split the expenses.
  • Cut out or decrease cable and phone packages.
  • Spend your spring breaks and summers away from actual spending and towards finding more worthwhile, possibly philanthropic, activities.
  • Don’t get a pet that you’d be responsible for. Volunteer for shelters if you really want to take care of animals.
  • Open a personal savings account that should earn you interest.
  • Keep your loans related to your schooling needs.

9) Be Resourceful

There are many ways to avoid spending too much.

Some Ways to be Resourceful:

  • Buy or rent used textbooks, choose e-books, or borrow from the school/public library.
  • Libraries also have some DVDs, if you want movies.
  • Use a bike if you have one.
  • Get your purchases and memberships from places that offer student discounts and/or free memberships.
  • Sell stuff that still function well but you have no use for anymore.
  • Consider alternatives, such as sticking to water rather than other drinks, making your own coffee rather than going to coffee shops, and buying generic rather than branded items.
  • Use free online services rather than purchase music and other things.
  • Keep snacks with you so won’t often need to buy food that cost more.

10) Get a Scholarship

Scholarships are not just for the very brainy. There are other scholarships that could fit you and yet, they remain unused. Try your luck, but add effort into it. Once you’re in, make sure you stay in by studying hard and doing well in school.

An education is an investment. In order to make it a success, you also need to make sacrifices along the way. So start early and invest early on your future. There is absolutely no better time than today.