How to Save Money As a College Student?
College is the most interesting and important part of anyone’s life. When you enter college, you are on your own and have full responsibility for your finances. At the same time, you must learn many things to get settled and become successful in life. Therefore, you need to get prepared well in advance. Learning to save your money effectively at this stage is very crucial as it will not only help you to have control over your finances, but you will also learn to manage your funds in certain circumstances. Here are some of the tried- and- tested ways for college students to save money –
Set up a student budget
Creating a student budget is an excellent way to keep track of all your income and expenses. Income can include money from your parents, student loans or a part-time job. It takes hardly 30 minutes to prepare a budget and it should be done at the beginning of each semester. Keep a record of how much you can spend on food, transportation, entertainment and books for the semester. Once you have noted everything, you can figure out what expenses you can cut down to save a certain amount.
Find a part-time job
A great way to save more money is by obtaining a part-time job while you’re in college. A part-time job will give you extra income to do fun things with friends, dining out, travel on weekends, eat healthier and going out for movies.
Don’t buy books when you can rent
Another option is to buy/ rent used textbooks, instead of new. Always try to rent or buy them from your friends or seniors or find a free PDF version. Also, check whether you can get them from your college/ university library. This way you can save hundreds of rupees each semester.
Learn basic financial literacy
Begin investing in yourself and start learning the basics of financial literacy. The best way to do this is through personal finance books and podcasts. Start educating yourself on the basic retirement schemes such as pension plans, annuities and various investment options.
Cut unnecessary costs
You can save a lot of money when you cut out unnecessary costs. To cut down costs, make a habit of walking or taking public transportation instead of using your own vehicle or buying clothes during the festive season when discounts are very high. You can also use coupons provided by various stores that allow you to get products at discounted prices. The best way to restrict down the unnecessary cost is by preparing a monthly beget and following it strictly.
Understand your student loans
Before taking any student loans, it’s important to look into which loans you qualify for, know the interest rates and always know the principal balance you owe.
Don’t hesitate to ask for student discounts wherever you go. Many stores have it but sometimes don’t advertise about it. So, it’s better to carry your College ID card everywhere with you to save 10-15% on your purchases.
It’s important for students to implement good spending behaviors early. No one is going to teach you how to plan and control your finances in school or college. Following these tips can help you save money effectively and wisely as a college student.
Bonus tip: It is never too early to set aside money for your retirement. For personal finance and retirement, implement the 80/20 rule i.e., using 80% of your income on your bills and expenses and then 10% for your long-term savings and 10% on yourself.