College is the ideal time where students learn how to budget appropriately. Follow these four money-saving tips in order to ensure a stress-free college experience.
Don’t Abuse Credit
Though credit cards are essential in terms of building credit, it is important to use them responsibly. That being said, always pay your bills on time. Late fees add up, so only charge what you know you can afford at the end of each month. If you have extra cash before your credit card bill is due, don’t blow it on something useless—instead, pay off what you can! If you’re a person who tends to overuse, leave your credit card at home where you won’t be tempted to use it. This will save you money through not having to pay interest. Credit cards are a nice thing to have, but make sure to use them sensibly—remember, you can’t run from a bad credit score!
Ask Yourself: Do you Really Need that?
An important aspect of budgeting is learning how to stay away from impulse buys. If you are planning on making a big purchase, take a step back and think—do I really need that? Wait a few days to see if you still need the item before making an impulse decision. In addition to impulse buys, learn how to limit your monthly expenses. For example, do you actually use the cable you’re paying for? Studies show that 73 percent of college students watch TV online. By cutting the cable plan from your budget, you could save a good chunk of change each month. With Netflix and Hulu streaming movies and TV shows, cable is one of the many aspects of your life that you could look at and say: Do I really need that?
Learn How to Eat Cheap
Plan out trips to go to the grocery store. Studies show that only 9% of students buy groceries, while 51% eat out. When buying groceries, you can make large portions, which provide you with leftovers for the next day. Additionally, make homemade dinner with friends! By splitting the cost of groceries and pitching in, you’ll save money and also avoid a lonely dinner for one from a takeout restaurant or worse—a drive-thru. Additionally, when grocery shopping, make sure to buy coffee in bulk! Making your own coffee each morning will give you the pick-me-up you need and save you from spending $4-5 dollars per cup.
Cut your Bad Habits—They’re Expensive
College is oftentimes where students find themselves focusing in on social circles and slipping into bad habits. Though drinking can serve as a way to blow off steam, it’s important to learn how to monitor it—not only can it take a toll on your bank account, but also on your health. In addition to the toxic substances you put in your body, it’s also important to focus on other things you might consume, like sodas for example. Sodas not only have high sugar content that can have disastrous effects on your health, but they also are very expensive. Studies show that if you eat out three times a week while ordering a soda each time, you will end up spending over $950 a year! Drink water instead—it’s better for you, and it’s free. Be sure to optimize your health while minimizing your spending habits to budget more efficiently.
Upholding an education, a job and a personal life are only a few of life’s challenges, but learning how to maintain one’s finances will always hold importance. By following these four money-saving tips, you can ensure a stress-free lifestyle—not only in college, but for the rest of your life!