How To Save Money In College

Many students don’t realize that there’s more to college expenses than just tuition and housing costs. There are books and supplies as well as food, gas, and other everyday expenses that you’re never aware of until you move away from home.

For those who don’t qualify for financial aid, it can be difficult to find the money for these extra expenses.

The following is a list of tips to help you earn and save your money for when you really need it.

Scholarships are your friends. Whether you think you’ll get them or not, apply for as many scholarships as you can. If you don’t qualify for financial aid, you probably won’t qualify for need-based scholarships either, but there are many merit-based ones that look at your grades and extracurricular activities. Talk to your school counselor and search the web until you find something that works for you.

Just say no. It can be tempting to spend all your money on that thing you really have to have. Whether it’s an iPhone, a camera, a new TV or a boatload of clothes, chances are you don’t really need it. Part of growing up and being an adult is learning to prioritize, and when you’re on a budget, you have to spend wisely. You can treat yourself sometimes, but you shouldn’t break the bank to do it.

Learn to cook. Go through your latest bank statement and add up how much money you spend on eating out; I guarantee it’s an absolutely ridiculous amount. If you don’t know how to cook anything, you’re going to spend a lot of money paying others to feed you. Cooking isn’t nearly as difficult as it seems, it’s basically just following directions. You don’t have to be a master chef, just learn how to make a few basic dishes and you’ll save a ton of money. Eating in restaurants is fun, but you should make it the exception, not the rule.

Set some aside. It’s always good to have money saved for an emergency or in case you lose your source of income for a while. Whether it’s from a job, loan, allowance or scholarship, whatever monthly money you receive, you should always set a certain amount aside for savings. The amount is up to you, but preferably, it should be 10% or more of the total.

Save everywhere. Every little bit you can save counts. Buy used books instead of new ones, go for generic or store brands at the grocery store, get a haircut every other month, and girls, learn to do your own nails! You’ll be amazed at how quickly all those little amounts add up into one big amount you can really do something with.

Although this list might make it seem as though your life in college will be nothing but staying at home and eating value packs of mac and cheese, it’s really not all that bad.

If you’re used to spending more freely, it’ll be a little difficult at first, but that’s also part of the college experience. Learning to budget your money correctly and to control your spending habits is a skill that will save you heaps of trouble later in life.

Also, you can take comfort in the fact that everyone around you will most likely be as broke as you are, and it’ll get you to think of creative ways to have fun without spending all your money.

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Mercedes Espinoza

Mercedes Espinoza

Mercedes Espinoza is a senior at Florida Atlantic University pursuing a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Although reading is her first love, writing is a close second and she can usually be found with her nose in a book or hunched over a laptop typing away. Outside of school and work, she’s interested in all things fitness as well as continuing to grow an already massive nail polish collection.