Once you have made it to the goal you have set for going to college, now what can you do with your money to make sure it lasts longer? There are many dos and don’ts when it comes to money, especially when you are living the college life. Here are some important money tips for college students that you can follow.
Be careful with credit cards
Use credit cards with extreme caution. Credit cards are always marketed heavily to college students. This is the time of your life that you are going out with friends all of the time and it is easy just to put the bill on a card. You don’t have to always be living this going out all the time lifestyle. Be responsible! Think about getting a job or two and skip one of the nights going out to make sure you are only spending what is there. It is never good to use a credit card just for entertainment. Only spend what you have. If for some reason you do need to use a credit card, pay it off immediately.
Track your spending
Use a notebook, or whatever you can to track all your expenses. Good records will prevent you from getting overdrawn at the bank or charging more than your credit limit. This will help you to also see what it is that you spend money on the most. Then you can re-evaluate your spending and maybe cut down on those things, or stop buying them altogether. Track your expenses and try to understand early on where your money is going to be spent. You can even break this down by semester or by month to make it more simple. Don’t forget to save your receipts. You can save them in a shoebox under your bed if you have to, but make sure to keep them. You should compare them with statements at the end of the month to make sure you are counting everything correctly.
Budgets can be a pain at times, but your expenses can also be a lot and it is important to stay within a budget so you aren’t digging a hole for yourself. Most students do not have a steady monthly income but they do have savings, student loans, or scholarships that are paid at different times throughout the year. Document all income and expenses ensuring you know what is coming in and going out. It can be very easy to let a ton of money go out, and not completely understanding what is coming in and when.
It may be hard to save while you are in college because of the cost of living and other college expenses, but do your best to save even a little because even a small amount will help make it a habit for the future as well as ensure you have a little something to help if an emergency does arise. Try just a few dollars each paycheck from your part time job and put it into a separate savings account where you won’t touch it.
Buy used textbooks
It is ridiculous to pay full price for a textbook, when all you are going to do is use it for one semester and then try to sell it back. When you do sell them back you will only get a few bucks for them anyway, so it isn’t worth it to spend all that money. Most times you end up with ones you can’t sell back anyway and you are stuck with them for years to come. Just buy used textbooks and save you some money altogether.
Ride a bike
Skip the car if possible. A lot of college campuses are built for students without cars. Ride your bike from class to class to save on the expense of a car and gas. Plus, this is a great way to stay in shape with your busy lifestyle. Not only will you be saving a lot of money, but you will also be staying healthy for the future.
Don’t eat out
It is not necessary to eat out all the time. Eating out can at times be necessary with the tight schedules and always being on the go. If you continue to eat out everyday then this will add up quickly. Cook meals and pack your lunches for school as often as you can, even pack snacks so you aren’t spending your money on unnecessary things.
In following these money tips for college students, you will definitely make your money last longer and you will even be able to save a little for the future. Be responsible with your money and continue these good money habits throughout your life. You will be happy that you did.