These days college rarely seems to be about saving money, with the large political and social focus on how much money is being spent on attending college and taking out student loans. But at the core, college is all about preparing for your future adult life, so saving money during college should be an important aspect to consider as well. There is definitely plenty of money to be spent when attending college – from the cost of tuition and books to the general cost of living, but with proper planning and a little guidance you can prepare a financial savings plan that will relieve you of financial stress after graduation and set you up for stability and success well into the future.
Have A Budget
The first rule to any savings plan is to create a budget and then follow it. If you are blindly spending money as expenses come, you are far less likely to have anything left over to save at the end of each month and far more likely to fall into debt that will have to be repaid later on. Make sure your budget is clear on the expenses you will have for living such as rent, food, clothes, your car, insurance, etc. but that it also factors in school expenses such as tuition, books, and other fees. Once you have factored in all of your expenses, try to factor in a little bit of savings to set aside each month as well.
Look For Ways To Increase Income
Because there are so many expenses during college, finding ways to increase the amount of income you are making during this time is essential to having a realistic budget and the ability to put money away to save for later. Anyone who is on a tight budget should always consider creative opportunities to make extra money such as paid research studies, selling used clothing, work study programs, etc. If you are already working during your time in college, try to find ways to use the skills from your current job to increase your income by offering services to friends on the side, such as serving food at parties if your waiter or waitress or offering tutoring services to friends who are struggling. You will be surprised at just how many different ways there are to make extra money on the side if you are creative enough!
Save On Transportation Costs
Most college campuses are designed in a way that makes them a “mini-town” of their own. The great thing about this is that you can do a lot of what you need to right on campus without having to spend a great deal of money on gas, vehicle maintenance, and ride sharing services. If it is close enough for you to easily get to on bike or by walking, choose to do so. Additionally, if your school offers a bus or some other transportation system for students on campus, take advantage of it as it is usually free with a student ID.