Most people would agree that being a college student was the best time of their lives, which makes sense seeing that you’re finally living independently and you get to do whatever you want. Or at least that’s how it is in theory, while reality isn’t always as alluring. Many college students learn fast of how the world really works and how difficult it is to balance out finances, studying and going out, which is no easy task.
Learning how to be practical and frugal while you’re a student will help you a lot in your life as you proceed to be a functional adult, so you might as well start right now. We’ll try to impart some wisdom on how you can save and economize your money through this guide, without being a cheapskate or fearing where every dime is going to go. Once you’ve learned to bring together your spending habits with other aspects of your life, everything will be much easier.
When You First Start…
As soon as you arrive to college, you will need to make important financial decisions, and not all of them can be made with the help of your parents. If you need a debit card and you’re looking for a bank to register in, do your research. Some banks are better than others, offer conditions that are much more acceptable for your wallet and in general have more satisfied clients.
Also, if you can manage it in any way, convince yourself that credit cards are a no-no. Know that it will lead to nothing good, as you will have more additional debt to think of on top of your student loans, and that is an extra burden you just don’t have to carry. Sure, it sounds amazing to have some extra cash right now, but things will get rough once you spend it and those bank statements keep rolling in.
Take full advantage of student discounts. You will be very surprised when you see just how many big brands and stores all around you actually offer discounts for college students. Do your research and find a way to use the full potential of those discounts, because it will definitely pay off.
Basic Money Management
You need to know your budget. After a while, you’ll get a pretty good picture of how much you’re spending each month. There are great money management apps that you can use to help you in this endeavor, but it all trickles down to how diligent you are in keeping track of your costs. Also, prioritize – first that needs to be paid every month are the bills, food and whatever is needed for your classes. Everything else can wait and is simply not as important.
Know how much you’re spending. You need only one rule here – Spend less than you earn. Sounds simple, but just think how tempted you are to spend all the money you’ve got in your pocket or on your bank account as soon as you get it. If you feel like your needs are growing, then find ways to earn more money.
Always keep your financial details protected. Thousands of college students fall prey to cyber scams and identity thefts that often end up in their bank accounts being ravaged. This is mostly due to lack of understanding of internet security when they’re buying things online. It is paramount to have strong internet safety thanks to ExpressVPN at all times, in order to prevent something potentially catastrophic from happening, like someone stealing your bank account details.
Food, Drinks & Going Out
Careful who you hang out with. When we’re around people who aren’t overly preoccupied with how much they’re spending, we tend to do the same. That kind of irresponsible financial behavior might not affect them too much, but you can rest assured that it will cost you a lot. If people closest to you are easy spenders, then tell them when you’re not in the position to do something extravagant with them, more often than not, they’ll understand and agree to do something more affordable.
Eating out should be a luxury. If you’re not on a meal plan, then the call of all the restaurants and fast-food joints around the campus is very strong, but you must resist. Eating out will cost you a lot more than it would to cook at home. Even if you choose the cheapest café or restaurant, you’ll still be spending much more than you have to, so limit your eating out as much as you can without missing out too much on hanging with your friends.
Shop in bulks. Your parents have probably talked about this with you, but we’ll underline it once more. If by any chance you’ve got a mega market close to where you live and study, use it as much as you can. You can find some amazing bargains, and you’ll be set for at least a month, depending on the type of product.
Think before you buy. There’s a good rule to implement whenever you see something you really want to buy, but is not cheap. Give yourself a couple of days to see if you’re still thinking about it even though some time has passed. The things you don’t need will quickly and permanently slip your mind, which means you didn’t really need in the first place.
Let’s face it, you’ve got many balls to juggle before you become finance-savvy, but it can be done through perseverance and some willpower. Hopefully, this little guide will help you in your endeavors of becoming a more frugal and money-aware student.
Adam Ferraresi started his career as a web developer and he loves his job from the day one. With time, as he progressed with his skill, he found his passion for writing about many different topics concerning web development. From that time, he has expanded his views and is now writing on all sorts of different subjects. Adam is also a trusted writer of wefollowtech.com. He’s stationed in Dallas, where he spends his free time playing guitar and cooking for his friends.