Money Saving Tips for College Students
Start building your student savings account & setting savings goals
At this point in your life, college is probably the largest expense you have incurred. Between tuition, room and board, activities fees and textbook costs, the bill can add up. Factor in buying new clothes, ordering pizza with your roommates and maybe taking a trip for spring break, and the total gets even higher. All the while, it's unlikely that you have a full-time, high-paying job. So, where in the midst of all this spending and not much earning can you realistically save money?
Believe it or not, college students with limited sources of income can still meet some savings goals. The trick is to start now and start small.
1. Open a student savings account
Before you can start saving money, you have to have somewhere to put it. Don't try to portion out part of your checking account for saving. Before long, you'll find that you spent the 20% that was supposed to be for savings. The best way to build your savings account is to keep it separate.
2. Find a source of income
To save money, you first have to earn it. One of the best places to look is on campus. Students are employed all over, from department offices and athletic facilities to the library, cafeterias, dorms and office of admissions. The beauty of a campus job is that you can generally set it up to work around your classes and activities. You may also want to look off-campus for well-paying jobs like waiting tables or babysitting. So, don't be shy about looking for jobs off campus as well. You may consider applying for internships or co-ops that will pay and get you training in your field.
3. Trim back on your expenses
In order to make your hard work pay off, be smart with your money. There's nothing more frustrating than working all week and then blowing your paycheck in just one night. So, follow these money saving tips which can help you cut back without totally cutting the fun out of your college experience.
For example, take your weekend plans. Let's say you plan to hang out with the roommates on Friday night, buy new shoes on Saturday, and then grab a burger and a movie with your friends. This weekend could easily cost you $140, depending on the shoes you buy and where you go to dinner. If your campus job only netted you $40 this week, you're putting yourself in a hole.
So, instead, consider either using your meal plan for dinner or renting a movie on Saturday. That can shave $10 or $15 off the final bill. And, if you really need new shoes, start a little savings fund for them so that you can make the purchase guilt-free in a few weeks rather than sticking them on a credit card you may have trouble paying.
You can also look into trimming back on your cell phone plan. If you're still paying for lots of minutes but communicating mainly by text, there may be savings there. If you commute to campus by car, see if you can carpool with classmates so you can share the cost of gas. And, you can always consider buying used textbooks or borrowing them from the library to save.
Most importantly, when you save $10 here or $12 there by trimming back on expenses, remember to stick that cash right into your student savings account so it can start earning interest!
4. Look for money-saving perks in your student bank account
In addition to earning money at a job, you may be able to find some extra cash just by banking. For example, our Student Money Bundle offers you discounts on entertainment, clothes, food and more just for using your debit card. You can also take advantage of GoalTrack Savings, which helps you set a savings goal and stick to it. The best part is that when you reach your goal, you'll receive a reward.
Start now and open a student savings account with Citizens Bank
To get started down the path of saving money, open a savings account online in just a few minutes, so you can begin earning interest. And don't forget to keep looking for new and different ways to save. Plenty of shops and retailers around campus probably offer student discounts, so don't be afraid to ask. You may find you can save money on public transportation, movies, textbooks, restaurants, car repairs and more.