Many people talk about the broke college student life as though it’s a mandatory rite of passage. Truthfully, you don’t have to suffer as a broke college student when you develop smart financial habits. Consider the following ways you can effectively save your money and make it grow.
1. Avoid Paying Full Price
Books and school supplies can cost a lot of money. This is why it’s wise to do your research, find out what you need and shop for discounts. There are plenty of places that will sell used books. You might even be able to barter with friends who’ve already taken the classes you’re trying to get the books from.
2. Create a Budget
For every dollar that comes into your bank account, make sure it has a specific assignment by creating a budget. Think about your monthly expenses. Whether you have a cell phone bill, gas or groceries, put all of your expected expenses on that budget list. Make sure you budget enough to cover your overhead expenses. Then, be sure to set aside money for your savings accounts and more. Avoid the temptation to needlessly swipe your card by operating with cash for your purchases. It’ll help you remain more disciplined.
3. Develop Sources of Income
If you don’t have any money coming in, it’ll be really hard to save any money. This is why it’s essential to create sources of income for yourself. When you’re in college, you probably won’t have a ton of time to frivolously spend. However, this is where scheduling comes in handy. Find a part-time job that allows you to bring in a few hundred dollars a week. You can babysit children, clean houses, or become an Uber driver. Once a week, head over to the local thrift store to purchase items. Flip the items on sites like eBay and Poshmark to flip a profit. When you’re good with your time management skills, you’ll be able to develop income streams, make money and save it.
4. Create Multiple Savings Accounts
If you only have a checking account, it’ll be really difficult to keep your money organized. In addition to a checking account, open two different savings account. Make one of the savings accounts inconvenient. This means that it’s not attached to your checking account. You won’t have a debit card for this account either. Whether you’re saving for a car, a trip or some tires for the winter, that money goes into that account and remain untouched. Your other savings account that’s tied to your checking account can be reserved for times when you have short-term items you’d like to save up for like a flight to an upcoming conference or a new pair of shoes. If your parents send money, make sure you can easily connect the funds to one of your savings accounts. Even if it’s a gift, you don’t want to frivolously spend money.
5. Prioritize Your Appearance
When you’re in college, it’s nice to look and feel your best. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend hundreds to look fabulous. Start with the right foundation by exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. Purchase clothing at the thrift stores. You can find amazing designer pieces at a fraction of the price. Be well-groomed to enhance your overall appearance as well. Looking polished really isn’t all about wearing the latest fashions. A simple white button-up blouse, a pair of black cigarette pants and some flats look extremely chic with a piece of statement jewelry. Plus, when you’re well-groomed, this takes your look to the next level of sophistication.
6. Adjust Your Mindset
When it’s time to get into the habit of saving money, there’s an understandable learning curve. You’re training yourself to get away from instant gratification. Adjust your mindset by listening to financial gurus with sound advice. Read financial books and articles that will help you expand your mindset when it pertains to financial shifts.
7. Learn to Say No
Your friend might want to go out for dinner this week, but if you didn’t financially plan for it, learn to say no. Don’t get into the habit of spending money you technically don’t have the margin to spend. Stay away from spur-of-the-moment expenses due to peer pressure.
8. Create Incentives
Incentivize your experience because it’s more fun to see your money flourish in places that encourage you to remain disciplined. If you save a certain amount of money, you can treat yourself to a ticket to that upcoming live concert. If you become intentional about saving money at another time, you can use that money to invest in stocks. As you reap the benefits of saving, you’ll only build that muscle to remain more focused and disciplined
When you’re a college student, it’s so important to become intentional about your financial health. Whether you’ve used scholarships or student loans to pay for school, you probably understand the weight and responsibility of money in a different light. Thankfully, creating these habits will allow you to set yourself up for success while you’re in college and for the rest of your life.