10 Quick Financial Tips for College Students
More and more millennial buyers are entering the real estate market these days, which means that the time to start saving money is now! Since many millennials are typically still in college—and college can be a very difficult place to save money—we’ve decided to compile a quick list of tips to help this enterprising group of future home buyers start saving toward that first big home purchase.
No, it’s not Money Management: 101, but here are 10 quick money tips for college students:
1. Buy used books. Then, sell them when you’re done. Unless it is an absolute requirement from one of your professors, there is no need to buy brand new textbooks. Find used books from the bookstore or from some of your classmates. Pass them on to other students at the end of the semester.
2. Get a roommate. Whether you’re living in on-campus dorms or at an off-campus apartment, your housing costs are sure to decrease if you split them with one or more roommates. So, find a friend or two and share those housing costs!
3. Take advantage of being a student. You may be surprised how much you can save by simply showing off your college I.D. College students are able to get discounts at retail stores, restaurants, and other places.
4. Skip a spring break trip. You don’t have to spend your spring break at some hot spot to make it memorable. You’ll save money and gain a sense of accomplishment if you do something domestically, like volunteering or visiting your family!
5. Cut out the coffee shop. We get it; grabbing a latte on the way to your 8 a.m. class can be a necessity from time to time, but it doesn’t need to be an everyday occurrence. Cut out a few trips to your favorite coffee shop (or happy hour) and watch your savings start to grow.
6. Track your spending. Get an app or use that notebook you bought for class and have failed to crack open. Whichever you choose, start to track the way you’re spending your money. It is much easier to hold yourself accountable when the financial figures are right in front of you.
7. Get a job. This tip is two-fold. Not only will working on or off campus prevent you from spending some of your money, but it also will help you to earn and save more! Even if you are working only 10 hours each week, the extra money can make a difference.
8. Be careful with credit. College students are often presented with new credit card offers. There is nothing wrong with building your credit, but it becomes a problem when you’re making major purchases against your own credit. Sure, you should establish some credit, but don’t go crazy just because you’ve got credit.
9. Don’t overspend on food. Just because you have a roommate, does not mean that you have to pay to feed a whole army! If you’ve got a meal plan, use it; but, be sure you’re clear about what it includes. Only pay for what you’re using.
10. Do without a car. It is good for the environment, and it is good for your bank account. Instead of driving your car to class, opt for public transportation… or, even walking! You could be in better physical—and financial—health!
If you’re in college, there is no better time than now to start getting smart about your spending and saving habits. Study up on ways you can start saving money at home now.