Every situation is unique and different, but I want to discuss possible options for students to save money.
Ways to Save Money
Basic Savings Account
A lot of banks now offer ways for students to open a “student savings account.” The goal of a “student savings account” is to allow students with limited funds to open a savings account. They usually have low minimums and as a deterrent, it has penalties for withdrawing too much money.
Money Market Account
Usually have higher interest rates but require more of a student than a basic savings account.
Certificate of Deposit (CD)
This requires that you leave your money in the bank for a pre-determine period of time. In exchange for “lending” your money to the bank, you receive a promissory note that indicates the rate of interest you will earn on your deposit. However, if you need to take out a deposit on your CD, you may be required to pay penalties.
Money Market Fund
If students are interested in the opportunity to invest and explore the world of the stock market, this is a good option.
Spending Money Wisely
There are ways to save money in college. For example, buying used books may be a good way to save money. Some colleges even allow you to check out textbooks through the library (I wouldn’t always count on that though, if you desperately need that book before the final exam, it may be gone!). Maybe you can borrow the textbook for a friend, or search for the textbook on sites like amazon.
If you’re close enough to campus, could you walk? Or how about riding your bike? Are their options for public transportation? In some areas, if you have a valid college ID, you can ride the bus for free.
Consider carpooling for class, and look for gas promotions (I personally love gasbuddy.com!)
How about food? It’s important to eat healthy in college. Meal Plans are great if your school offers them.
Try to not use your credit card for food purchases and if you can, clip coupons. Remember, just because an item is on sale at the grocery store, doesn’t mean that you need to buy it. Try to stick to a list of items that you need at the grocery store and only buy those items.
Farmer’s markets or other types of produce stores are usually a good way to save money, and the produce is fresher.
- Always keep track ofyour spending. Save your receipts and keep either your checkbook with you or a small notebook to write down totals.
- Bouncing checks is costly, and may result in criminal charges.
- Always remember to check your receipts to make sure that you weren’t overcharged.
- Paying your bills on time also avoids any fees that may damage your bank account.
- Plan your weeks ahead of time to avoid being bored and “spending” money on entertainment.
- Plan your grocery trips ahead of time by creating a list of items that you’ll need. This will help you avoid a drive for an item or two. It’ll also help you plan out your meals better.
Try spending your leisure time volunteering than out at the mall or other places you may spend money.
Always check to see if a place has a student discount. A lot of places such as museums, zoos, restaurants and movie theatres give discounts, even if it isn’t listed.
Always remember to shop around. If you’re shopping for a new computer or laptop, search the internet and store flyers for good deals.
If you have the option to, skip internet at home, if you’re close enough to your school or to a library that offers it to you for free.
Also, you can use free software like Skype to make computer to computer phone calls.
There are many ways to save money while you’re in college…
Live like a college student while you’re in college, but don’t force yourself to live like a college student the rest of your life.