Saving money while in college may seem like an unrealistic dream. Between classes, extracurriculars, and homework, it can be daunting. But there are many positive gains that come with good savings. For instance, your savings while in college can help you pay for your tuition, start a small business, and even start paying back your student loans.
Of course, your earnings at this stage in life are going to be limited, so you don’t have to worry about saving a fortune. The key is earning and saving enough to keep school debt at a manageable level so that when you graduate you won’t be in a deep financial hole.
Here are 6 actionable tips that you can use to start saving money today.
1. Utilize student discounts
For as long as you have your student ID, you will be eligible for discounts on tons of stuff. Numerous clothing and tech brands offer students reduced prices for their products. You can also find student discounts for streaming services like Hulu and Spotify. Most theaters and museums have special student rates and many popular restaurants also offer student deals.
So, the next time you’re out shopping for clothes or a new laptop, make sure you check out the brands that offer student discounts. If you’re not sure if a store or company has discounts for students, do a quick Google search or simply ask an employee. It can’t hurt to ask and it may just end up saving you money.
2. Find a part-time job
Earning is a proven way of saving. Working while in college is daunting, no doubt about that, but it is important if you want to cut down on your student debt. The little extra money you will make will go a long way in offsetting your small bills. Also, working on a part-time basis means that instead of squandering free time spending, you use it earning.
As you work, it should never be lost to you that you are primarily in college to earn your degree, not to work. That understanding will help you avoid the stress that comes with part-time jobs. Look for jobs on or near campus to save on transportation.
3. Make the library your friend
Your campus library is free and has so much offer. Not only can you rent textbooks, but you also have access to DVDs, computers, and lots of quiet study areas. Plus, did we mention, there are printers and copiers available for student use? That means no money spent on home-printers and ink.
So instead of spending money on a laptop or research books for an upcoming paper, turn to your campus library.
4. Leverage online savings accounts
While in college, spending money can be a constant temptation, especially during school breaks. That’s why you should save it in an account that’s hard to access. Online savings accounts are great in this regard.
And if you have a part-time job that helps you sort your basic needs, investing your money in stock or real estate would be a great idea.
5. Utilize campus amenities
Instead of renting an expensive apartment off-campus, why not live in the on-campus dorms? Better still, why not find a roommate with whom you can split the accommodation costs?
Also, if there are any free fitness classes or entertainments on campus, it would be better if you went for those rather than spending money on premium entertainment options off-campus. Stop by your campus gym or student events office to find out about all the great (free!) entertainment options your school offers.
6. Find scholarships and grants
Scholarships and grants are available to students every year. Even if you didn’t apply for them in your first year of college, go ahead and do it now.
These financing options are a near guarantee for foreign students, so if you are one, make sure you check out your available options. If you’re planning to join an overseas college, apply for a student visa and then use it to source for scholarships and grants.
Start Saving Today!
In everything you do, always ensure that you stay focused on your core duties as a student. Study hard and complete your degree in a good time. Remember that neglecting your studies will necessitate additional semesters, which will mean additional expenses.
About Lisa Mottins: Lisa is a young, ambitious writer with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCF. She is currently learning to code and developing her photography skills. She loves expressing herself creatively and sharing her experiences in hopes of helping others.