6 Money Saving Tips for College Students

September 8, 2015 04:24 PM

It’s your first time being on your own and you suddenly realize that money isn’t actually growing on trees—yes, you read that right! Now, if you are lucky, you have had the chance to build-up a fair amount of savings to prepare for this new adventure. If not…well, let us help you get started!

We have put together a list of six simple, quick, and effective ways you can cut back and start saving today!

Start here:

1. Create a Budget and stick to it! This seems easy enough, but most college students don’t take the time to do it. Keep it simple by tracking your daily expenses first, and then take a look at all expenses during the month. You should be able to find areas that can be cut back or eliminated altogether—such as the weekly take-out for dinner or trips to the mall.

Horizon Tip: Use our Home Budget Calculator to help you see where your money is going.

2. Ditch the $5 Coffee. Yes, you can do it. This also goes for those trips to the fast-food joints and snack bars, too. All of these little expenses add-up very quickly, especially when enjoyed on a daily basis. Give these a try and see how much further your budget stretches:

  • Make your favorite latte, coffee or smoothie at home
  • Take your lunch and snacks with you
  • Drink more water
  • Don’t buy smartphone apps or music

3. Shop Specials, Never Buy New. It seems as if the goal of our society today is to be one-step-ahead of the Jones’—but there are benefits to NOT being one of, or keeping up with, the Jones’. There will come a time when buying new is acceptable; however, since you are still reading this, we can take a pretty good guess and say that now is not that time.

Check out this list of items that you should not be paying full price for:

  • Cars—cars depreciate immediately after leaving the lot anyways.
  • Textbooks—rent or buy used. Sharing a class with a friend or roommate? Share a book!
  • Furniture—ask family and friends first, then try garage sales, second-hand stores and online ads.
  • Clothing—shop clearance racks, share with a friend, roommate or sibling, shop consignment

4. Drive Less. Walk More. We understand the need for freedom and encourage you to reach your horizon, but that doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag. When you are within a mile or two of your desired destination, and it is safe to do so, try one of the following transportations:

  • Bike
  • Car pool
  • Ride the bus
  • Rollerblade
  • Walk

5. Get a Roommate…or two. Renting is not cheap, but it can be cheaper when you are able to split the costs of rent and utilities with someone else. Even if you are living in the dorms, there are ways to help reduce living expenses. Here are a few ideas for you:

  • Apply to be a Resident Advisor (RA) and enjoy Room and Board for little to no cost!
  • Look for apartments that have a roommate matching service
  • Move-in with friends/classmates
  • Stay home! If your parents/family insists you stay home and save money, “pay” rent each month and have your parents/family place into a savings account for you!

6. Let’s Talk Spending. Not everything in life will be free, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy life for just a small cost or potentially no cost at all. Always remember to:

  • Be a tourist in your own town
  • Cut back on the cable bill, or cut it out completely
  • Eat out less, eat in more—your wallet and waist will thank you!
  • Plan a stay-cation instead of a vacation—it’s like a vacation, but next to free!

Still not sure where to get started? We are here to help! Stop in or contact your local branch today.