NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Money Saving Tips for College Students


            Money Saving Tips for College Students


            In-between attending classes, writing papers, polishing up your resume and job searching, how is a college student supposed to find time to manage money? College students and money mismanagement horror stories seem to go hand in hand but with a few tips, a college student can graduate with an unofficial degree in money sense.

  • Where does your money go? It is important to know where you are spending your money. This will allow you to develop better spending habits.
  • Make a budget. Estimate your monthly income and expenses.
  • Live like a college student. The reality is that you're a college student. So live like one—don't spend money you don't have yet. Though it may feel difficult, living like a student now will place you in a better financial situation when you graduate.
  • Don't abuse credit. Be responsible with credit cards. Only charge what you can truly afford to pay off each month and make sure it fits into your budget. If you are easily tempted to overuse, leave the credit card at home and take only the cash you can afford to spend.
  • Nothing's impossible. While it may seem impossible to save, try anyway, even if it's only $10 a week. Place the money in a savings account that's not attached to your ATM card so it is not as easily accessible.
  • Keep it safe. Be sure to keep receipts, student loan documents and other financial statements. You never know when you will need to refer to these documents.
  • One of the most important money saving tips is not to buy on impulse. Wait a few days and see if you still need the item.
  • Keep score. Make sure you pay your bills on time, every time. While this may seem obvious, paying on time is a big factor in having a good credit score.
  • Be a cheapskate. Many colleges offer lots of free or cheap activities on campus which will provide the opportunity to socialize without a lot of expense.
  • Lots of places will give you a discount simply for being a student. Look for places that offer savings when you show your student I.D.
  • Use the used. Look online or check with your college bookstore for used textbooks for classes, which can save you some money. Selling back your used books at the end of the semester could score you some extra cash. Check online or with your campus bookstore for buy-back details.
  • Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.
  •       13. Limit the number of times you eat out monthly.

          14. Walk, use public transportation or ride a bike instead of having a car.

          15. Don’t buy the most expensive college meal plans. Figure out what you actually consume and get the correlating package.

          16. Look into a campus gym versus a gym in town. Many colleges offer memberships for free or at a reduced rate for students.

          17. Sell what you no longer use or need. There are plenty of stores and web sites, like Poshmark and Craigslist, where you can sell your used clothing, furniture or tech items.

          18. Skip expensive Spring break and summer trips – look into alternatives, like volunteering, instead.

         19. Wait to get a pet until after college – a pet can become very expensive. Not only do you have another mouth to feed, but veterinary bills are costly. If you love animals, there are plenty of shelters that need volunteers.

         20. Make your own coffee. While coffee shops are convenient, they charge hefty prices that really add up over time.

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