How to Save Money in College

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Everyone has heard the stereotypical story of the poor undergraduate student who lives on coffee and instant noodles. However, just because you're a student in college doesn't mean you have to be penniless. Starting responsible spending habits early on can help you reach your financial goals and enhance your college experience.

Rising living expenses and tuition make it increasingly challenging to budget while in college. The idea of saving money while enrolled in college may seem impossible, but it's not! Below are exclusive money-saving tips and tricks to help make your money last.

Oh, and guess what? You won't be needing instant noodles! Keep reading to learn how to save money in college and become financially savvy.

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How to Make Money in College

Before you can save money, you must have money to save! Below are some tips on how to earn money while pursuing higher education.

Part-Time Work

A job is a stable source of income and an on or off-campus job is the quickest way to earn money. A part-time job will allow you some freedom by making extra cash to help with books, food, and other living expenses while being able to fit your shifts around your school schedule.

Sell Your Old Textbooks for Extra Money

Sell your old books once you no longer need them. Remember that you will not get back what you originally paid, but something is better than nothing - especially if the books take up shelf space. Each outlet for selling books will have its own guidelines for determining a book's worth. Do your research to determine the most lucrative avenue for selling your books!

Turn Your Hobby Into a Side Hustle

What are your hobbies? When you have a side hustle, you are the one who keeps the profits. Identify potential business ideas that best suit you, like painting or knitting. Then showcase your art or other products or services online, amongst peers, and even at local farmer's markets and begin hustling!

Make Your Money Work

Investing is essential. Investing certainly sounds like something only older people do; however, you can never start too early. Investing at a younger age gives your money more time to grow. Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are examples of assets that you can invest in. You can speak with a broker, financial planner, or investment advisor to learn more. You can even start investing money for retirement! Your future self will thank you for starting to invest now.

Check out How to Make Money in College for inspirational ideas to earn money!


How Much Money Do You Need to Save in College?

"A penny saved is a penny earned" - Benjamin Franklin. Remember this motto when deciding how much money you should save in college. This mentality helps you think twice before purchasing your double-shot espresso from your favorite coffee shop multiple times a week.

Saving your money is a no-brainer, but really, how much do you need to save while in college?

Each person's financial situation is different, and the amount you choose to save is solely up to you. There's no doubt that college is expensive, and what little money is left over after tuition, fees, and school supplies is usually left to pay other living expenses, leaving little room to save. However, when calculating your costs against your profits, you can see where to save money by deciding what expenses aren't necessary.

Additionally, it would help if you considered the importance of an emergency fund. It is reassuring knowing that you have money kept away in case something unexpected occurs. Generally, having an emergency fund keeps stress levels down, keeps you from spending on a whim, and keeps you from making irresponsible financial decisions.

How Much Does College Cost is a helpful resource to better understand the costs of college.


Best Ways to Save Money as a College Student

While in school, self-control can make a big difference and help you cut unnecessary expenses.

Forget the lavish vacation on spring break and instead get ahead on school assignments. Do you really need to vacay away from your college every single holiday you are offered? The reality is no. While college is a great time to try new things and go to new places, it's important to find a balance between going out and staying in so you're able to be financially secure. You can even save your cash for a fun trip after you graduate; what better way to celebrate than on the beach with your toes in the sand?

Online banking is easy to navigate while in college and helps manage money, but what type of bank account should you get? Some banks charge fees or require a minimum balance; however, as a student, there are some perks with certain banks. Many banks offer no monthly maintenance fees or overdraft fees and even mobile check deposits. It's essential while you're in college to have a bank account that will not charge you late fees or maintenance fees or require a minimum balance. You may not be able to keep the minimum required balance in your checking account. So, look for free savings accounts, online banking, and student benefits.