Going to college comes with various expenses that not everyone can afford. That's why there's over $1.6 trillion owed by American college students in school loan debt. Most students take loans to buy college essentials and finance their day-to-day lives.
But college students need to minimize debt as much as they can. Keeping your debt low and saving money in college can help you build a better future financially. However, it would be best to start with learning how to save money in college, as savings will help prevent amassing debt.
That's what this article will help you learn. It will look into the various ways you can save money while in college. In addition, it will also explore how you can invest and multiply the money you save to ensure financial freedom. Read on for all you need to know about saving in college.
Tips for Saving Money While in College
- Don’t rush to buy books
- Avoid owning a car
- Consider investing if you can
- Have a meal plan
- Always carry your school ID
- Be smart with grocery shopping
- Be careful with credit cards
- Open a savings account with your local bank
- Make the most of your school’s amenities
- Monitor smartphone usage
- Trim or split subscriptions
- Stay focused on your studies
Don’t Rush to Buy Books
Being savvy with your textbook expenses can save you money in college. Textbooks can be costly, but you can use alternative ways to find them rather than buy them. For instance, you might consider borrowing from friends or checking if there are any in the college library.
You should create a list of the textbooks you'll need. Then, go ahead and check in the library and with friends, then tick those you find off the list. You might end up buying only one or two textbooks from the list. You will end up saving a considerable amount of money from books.
Avoid Owning a Car
Many college students do not realize how cheaper not owning a car can be. However, it is one of the best decisions you can make if you plan to save money in college. Owning a car comes with parking, insurance, maintenance fees, and paying for gas.
You can save money by opting for public transportation. This will be subject to its availability in your city or state. Start by analyzing your movement needs to see if you need a car. You'll realize you do not, especially if you move short distances in a city served by public transport.
Consider Investing if You Can
Investing is an excellent way to save money during your college days. Saving can be a daunting task for anyone getting started with it. However, it's one of the most rewarding techniques you can use if you want to save money in college.
It would be best to start by saving small amounts and then invest in profitable assets. It will also help find assets that can store value for the long term. The best asset in this aspect is gold. You can buy gold bars from dealers like Acre. Also, invest in a Roth IRA, so your money works for you.
Have a Meal Plan
It's also possible to save money in college if you plan your meals properly. Cooking for yourself can be way cheaper than buying fast food on campus. It might sound like a lot of work if you've not tried buying ingredients and cooking, especially if you live in an apartment or dorm.
However, you'll be amazed by the amount of money this will save you. You only need to cook lunch and pack it together with snacks before leaving home. That will make it easy for you to cut costs. If you love buying food, make it once in a while, not every day, as it can be pricey.
Always Carry Your School ID
Your student ID can save you a lot of money if you love carrying it with you. Many big brands have offers for students from time to time. For instance, tech companies like Apple and Adobe have had discounts designed for students. Also, you can get discounts on many other items.
For instance, you can buy clothes at lower prices from Forever 21, Madewell, and other brands. However, you need to ask if there are any student offers before you buy. If there are, you can save some money to invest. You only need a valid school ID to prove that you are a student.
Be Smart With Grocery Shopping
Grocery tends to be cheaper, but they aren't if you take a closer look. That makes it vital to research the best places to purchase your grocery before getting started. You can, for instance, consider big brands for your grocery, especially when they have running discounts.
Also, avoid shopping for groceries on an empty stomach. This may not sound like a problem, but people spend too much or do impulse shopping when hungry or down. In addition, you can stick to cheap wholesome ingredients and have a shopping list before going out shopping.
Be Careful With Credit Cards
Credit cards are good but only when used correctly. Otherwise, they can plunge you into debt and ruin your creditworthiness. You need to find a credit card that offers the best interest rates. This means interest rates that you can pay every end of the month without breaking the bank.
This will help you avoid carrying on payments to other months. There will be a high chance of defaulting once these interests accumulate. In the end, it will help you build your credit record early enough. It will open doors for more credit in the future when you need it more.
Open a Savings Account With Your Local Bank
You can consider opening a savings account to start your journey. Such accounts are available in most banks globally. Banks even have savings accounts designed for students. These accounts have no minimum operating balances and lower or no transaction fees.
The internet has also made it possible to transact online. You can deposit money online and track your progress using the bank's application or website. This will make it easy to stay on top of your regular payments. It will also help you avoid various expensive overdraft charges.
Make the Most of Your School’s Amenities
Many college students never realize how much using school amenities to the fullest can help them save. And there are various school facilities that you can take advantage of to save money. For instance, you can use the school's fitness center instead of paying for the gym.
You may also find other fun activities like movie nights on campus for free. Taking advantage of them will save you a lot more time than you'd ever think. In the long-term, you'll have saved enough money to invest in gold bars or other assets or even finance other needs in college.
Monitor Smartphone Usage
We pay for every time we spend browsing the internet on our phones. However, you may not realize it, especially if you pay through your credit card. However, you may find out that you spend more on smartphone bills than you spend on food monthly if you spend time browsing.
Thankfully, you can cut smartphone costs using various methods. For instance, you can use features like My Data Manager or WhistleOut.com to start monitoring usage. Then also, use these tools to set your monthly usage and get warnings when you are almost exceeding it.
Trim or Split Subscriptions
Where possible, trying to trim or split subscriptions can be an excellent idea. Services like Netflix or Hulu are popular among college students because they help pass the time. You can save money on them by splitting the bills with your roommates or other friends in your college.
You can also take advantage of services that have student discounts. An excellent example of such a service is Spotify. You can enjoy content like other subscribers but at lower rates. This will make it easy for you to enjoy the best rates as a student.
Stay Focused on Your Studies
College life turns out to be expensive because many students do not clear within the scheduled time. Adding an extra semester or year to your studies will attract more expenses. Thus, staying focused and ensuring you complete your course within time will help.
Various resources on campus can help you do this effortlessly. For instance, you can use college resources like tutoring and academic advising. These are resources that you might not find if you extend your time. You'll have more time to multiply your savings after that.
That's what you need to know about saving money in college. You may have thought it isn't possible, but that's if you haven't started. Otherwise, saving money in college is easy if you plan to do it. Also, as seen in this post, you can't run out of ideas on how to save money.
We have provided various ways to ensure you do not worry about your expenditure. The insights shared in this article will be helpful in this journey. Also, the investing ideas shared can help you immensely. Contact us if you want to invest in gold bars and multiply your savings.
Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2020: A Record $1.6 Trillion | forbes
Roth IRA: Definition and How it Works | NerdWallet