Financial Tips for College Students to Save and Manage Better
BY JANE HURST
Saving money is hard enough to do at the best of times. But, when you are a college student, it can seem next to impossible to put aside a bit of cash for a rainy day. It always seems like there is some expense cropping up, whether it be books, lab fees, or other little expenses that go along with college life. But, even if you don’t have a lot of extra money to spare, there are still ways that you can save some, and manage what you do have a lot better so it stretches further. Here are some tips that will help.
- Create Lists
Make two lists: one of your actual needs, and the other of the things you want. Once you are able to see in writing what you actually need and don’t need, it will be easier to create a budget you can work with. Once you are working on a budget, you may even find that you can set a bit of cash aside for those things you want but don’t really need.
- Plan Meals with Friends
You can save a lot of money on grocery bills if you shop and eat with friends. Plan meals together, and that way you can go in on the cost of the ingredients. Another way to save money on food is to cook large amounts of things you can eat all week. If you have refrigerator space, cook a casserole, meatloaf, etc. You will have nearly a week’s worth of meals for less than $8.
- Sell Used Gadgets
If you have old electronic gadgets such as an iPad, laptop, etc., you can sell it at Gadget Salvation to make extra cash you can use for expenses, or to save for emergencies. It is easy to sell an iPhone or other gadget, and you have your money in just a few days. Look at other buy and sell sites to get rid of other unwanted items to make extra cash.
- Be Careful with Credit
If you have a credit card, it is important to be responsible with it. Not only do you have to be careful about how often you use it, but you also have to be careful about making payments on time. A missed payment, or even a late payment, is going to affect your credit rating.
- Watch Your Balance
It is a good idea to get into the habit of checking your bank balance regularly. That way, you always know what you have. If you make a debit or check purchase, check your balance, write it down, and write down the amount of the purchase. That way, you will always know how much money you have in the bank to work with.
- Shop at the Right Time
There are times when you should never go grocery shopping, because you are always going to end up spending a lot more than you planned. For instance, Mondays are bad, because the prices are higher. It is best to wait until the middle of the week when items are starting to be marked down. Also, don’t shop when you are hungry, because you will buy stuff you don’t really need.
- Downgrade Gym Memberships
If you go to the gym, but you don’t use all of the services, downgrade your membership. It will be cheaper, and you may even get some money back from the more expensive membership. Also, check to see if there is a gym on campus. It would likely be a lot cheaper to use, if not free for students.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.