Starting college can be a frightening time because everything is brand new. Often, college means a new location, a new experience, new faces, and more. Focusing on college leaves you little time to focus on much else. College is a chance for you to prepare for the real world and to start saving for the future. You can do this without even realizing it by following these 8 clever ways to be financially secured in college.
#1 Avoid Eating Out
In college, it can be tempting to eat out all the time. Afterall, it’s the convenient option. There are many new restaurants to try, and plenty of people view it as a social thing where they can relax with friends. This will take a toll on your wallet, especially if eating on campus where prices are more expensive since you pay for convenience. Instead of eating out, prep meals at the beginning of each week. Buy an insulated lunch box to keep food hot or cold while you’re on campus. Cutting back on eating out during the week will save you lots in the long run.
#2 Walk as Much as You Can
In college towns, most places are close together. Campus buildings are all within the span of a few blocks. There are typically plenty of restaurants, grocery stores, drug stores, and other types of stores nearby. You can easily walk to and from these which will help you save on gas money. In fact, many freshmen head to college without their car. This also helps them become financially secure because they’re avoiding car payments and insurance payments, thus saving a couple hundred a month.
#3 Live at Home as Long as Possible
If you’re lucky enough to attend college close to your parent’s home, live with them for as long as possible. Many freshmen get so excited to move out on their own and have a taste of freedom. They don’t realize just how much money they’re losing out on by paying rent and bills. If you’re able to live with someone for free, take them up on that opportunity. You can save anywhere from $300 upwards a month. Set this money aside and you’ll be financially secure before you know it.
#4 Get a Job
College is one of the busiest times of you’re life. You’ll have classes, homework, midterms to study for, projects to complete, and more. It doesn’t leave much time for a job. If you’re able to, get at least a part-time job so that you can start putting money aside. Start out by getting a job a few days a week. If it doesn’t affect your studies, see if you can pick up more hours. Set aside a fund where you can put all extra money made from your job in. If you’re a tipped employee, set aside your loose change. It will add up before you know it.
#5 Create a Budget
For many, college is the first time that they’re on their own. Many college students tend to go crazy with the spending. Therefore, it’s crucial that college students create a budget and stick with it. These budgets can help you from overspending and realize where you can cut corners to save even more. Budget out your money in the area of bills, grocery shopping, clothes, other necessities, and finally fun. Whatever you have left over, you can put in an emergency fund.
#6 Open up a Credit Card and Practice Responsible Spending
Many financial institutes offer credit cards that are geared towards college students. These are ones that offer rewards and cash back for necessary purchases that college students typically make. If you get one of these credit cards, use it to pay bills and for emergencies. Make sure that you make your monthly payment. Not only will this help you become financially stable, you’ll also be able to build good credit which will come in handy in the future.
#7 Be Mindful of Purchases, Especially Large Ones
When you’re in college, you’ll most likely move around. Very few people stay in the same house for all their years in college. Many will even go on to switch schools or move out of state for grad schools and careers, afterward. Therefore, it’s important you become mindful of purchases. Don’t purchase anything large enough that you don’t plan on carrying with you throughout your time in college. Also, don’t make impulse purchases. Outweigh the pros and cons of each large priced purchase. If you can’t see yourself getting much use out of it, don’t buy it.
#8 Avoid Stress Eating, Shopping, Drinking
College can be a stressful time between balancing grades, jobs, and a social life. Many turn to bars and shopping malls to release some stress. They think that spending money and kicking back drinks will help calm them down. In reality, this is an expensive habit to fall into that’ll have repercussions. All of those $5 drinks add up. You can be saving this money to become more financially stable.
If you’re in college or know someone who is, this is an important list to help them take steps towards financial freedom. So, what did you think of the list? Is there anything that you would add that you’ve found helpful? We want to hear all about it in the comment section! Share with others who you think would find this helpful.