Guide to Money in College
Going to college can be scary for a lot of reasons. You suddenly have to worry about so many things, like your classes, food, or laundry. A big new aspect of college for most people is money. Suddenly, you have to learn how to be responsible for your money and your savings. Here are some tips to get you started on smart money management to be successful in college!
Create a budget: This may seem silly but it’s actually very useful. In college, you may be going out with friends, eating at restaurants or shopping for clothes, and this spending can add up quickly. Making a budget can help you plan out your spending and saving and keep you on track for successful money management. Not to mention, this is a good habit to build for later in life when you will have bills or loans to pay. See this video for strategies and tips for budgeting: https://youtu.be/auMV1_tSQVw
Open a savings account: Creating a bank account for yourself is a great way to start learning how to manage your money. You will be able to easily see and keep track of your spending. It’s also a great way to earn money through interest without lifting a finger, and who doesn’t want free money! You can see if your university has any partner banks or suggestions, or search online for banks that offer student programs (most do!). Some of these banks may also offer prepaid credit cards or debit cards for students, which are great ways to learn about managing your own money without lots of financial risk.
Find a job: You may have already started working in high school, but if you haven’t, or want to continue working, finding a job is a great way to earn money that you can put towards spending or saving. Your school probably has lots of job options, and some are likely very easy or have a low time commitment! See this article [link to MaryElizabeth’s article] to learn more tips about how to find a job on campus.
Take advantage of student deals: This is a small but fantastic one. Many companies offer student discounts or deals, from Amazon Prime Student, to clothing stores, to food companies. There are lots of great apps that list these discounts too, such as Unidays, Student Beans and SnackPass. Be sure to check if the store you are ordering from offers a student discount when you are checking out to save a bit of money!
Learn about taxes and investments: This sounds tedious and boring, but you will have to learn how to do taxes at some point, so it's a good idea to start learning now, especially if you have a job or loans, and will need to pay taxes. It’s also smart looking into long term savings or retirement plans such as a Roth IRA to see how you can save money in the long run.
Be frugal: There are lots of little ways to save money on a daily basis, and these can add up over time. For example, try not going out everyday, use your meal swipes if you are on a meal plan, always check if there are coupons before going grocery shopping, or make coffee at home. These may seem small and insignificant, but saving $5 now means $5 later to use for something important!
These are just a few of tips to get you started. Money saving can feel tedious but it is definitely worth it to start learning skills in college so you can set yourself up for success later in life when you may have to support yourself and your family! If you are looking for more tips to save money, check out this article from the College Investor: https://thecollegeinvestor.com/22453/save-money-in-college/