Smart Money Moves for College Students

Planning & Saving
on August 8, 2013

College students have enough to worry about between attending classes daily, doing homework and studying for exams. However, they also need to worry about their finances while in school. While many students are quite good at managing their money, others are not. Saving money is a skill that needs to be learned while in college, for it will become even more important in the years ahead when it’s time to buy homes, cars and other big-ticket items. For those students having difficulty paying the bills, here are a few tips that might help.

The best way for college students to save money is to create a budget and stick to it. While it’s always tempting to spend a few dollars here and there on eating out, going out with friends or buying a new outfit, doing these things will bust a budget in a hurry. It’s important to prioritize your spending to make sure you have the basics covered first such as food, living expenses and textbooks. After that, anything left over can go for having fun.

When creating a budget, make sure to distinguish between what you need and what you want. For example, if you need textbooks decide if it’s important to have brand new books or whether used ones would work just as well. Finding areas where a few dollars can be saved can allow you to have money left over for other things such as trips or treating yourself to a nice meal once in awhile.

Being creative when planning activities can help in saving money. There are usually plenty of low-cost or free activities on campus such as movies, plays and concerts. Instead of trying to join a gym, make use of the campus fitness facilities for a free workout. Joining campus clubs can also lead to fun activities that don’t cost a dime, letting you save money while making new friends along the way.

Obtaining a credit card with a credit limit of no more than $1000 will help with paying for small, necessary purchases each month while helping you build a credit history. Paying off the balance monthly is key to staying within budget, but doing so will definitely pay off in the long run.

By learning how to manage money now, college students will be better prepared to make major financial decisions after graduation to ensure a healthy financial future.

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