College is expensive. Therefore, you should be trying to save as much money as you can to help pay for the college experience and to also save money for personal expenses. As a college kid, I can testify that this is very difficult. I constantly want to go shopping or go out to eat with friends, and realistically, it is just not good for my savings! Below, I share some tips that I started using to help me manage and track my money which has helped me start to save more money!
Avoid going out to eat all of the time
It's college, and college kids love to eat. Trust me, I am one of them. But, so much money gets wasted every time to spend money on burgers and fast food. That money could be going towards textbooks for next semester or tuition. If you can, try to limit your eating out to only a few times each month or for special occasions only. You will be surprised at how quickly those $10 fast food meals that you aren't spending money on impact your savings growth!
Constantly check for coupons or student discounts
There are so many apps and websites that hand out student discounts left and right, so definitely check for them before you go shopping. Some of these sites require you to register for free, and others simply tell you what stores give discounts based off your student id! Don't just impulse shop. Be sure to price match and check, and then look for these handy discounts before shopping.
Keep a shopping and spending log
Once I started to visually see how much money I was wasting on random stuff, I immediately wanted to stop spending money. Either get an app that reminds you of your spending habits, or start keeping a physical log in a book or journal that allows you to write down what you are spending money on, and how much money you are spending. Often times, we just need to remind ourselves of our habits, and keeping a log is a great way to do so!
Put money aside after each paycheck if you are working
It is so easy to get excited on pay day, and then not pay attention and spend your entire paycheck. Often time, college part time jobs don't pay too much anyway, so you really need to be saving whatever income you get. Of course save some spending money for yourself, but try and put a good chunk of your paycheck into savings so you have it later for school expenses.
Don't be afraid to say "no" spending money with friends
If they are your close friends, they will understand if you have to say no to a night out shopping because you need to save money. If you want, try and suggest some fun cheap or free activities you can do around campus instead. A lot of clubs offer free movie and snack nights. Your gym may have a dodgeball or free-for-all sports night you can participate in. There's definitely free stuff to do on campus, so do not feel obligated to have to spend money to have a good time!
These simple tips are a great start to help you save more money and be more aware of your spending habits in college. Money is critical in college, so you want to be sure that you are being smart about where your funds are going.