Saving Tips for College Students

It’s a humiliating and terrible feeling that fills your stomach when that waitress or gas station attendant hands back your debit card with that same, grim-faced shake of the head.

“I’m sorry it says it’s been declined”

I’ve seen this happen a fair amount more in college than I did previously.

For some students, this is their first experience dealing with their own finances independently meaning they probably have less than responsible spending habits. However, after reading and following these useful money saving tips, you’ll be able to give you and your parent’s wallets a break.

Do You Really Need It?

Ask yourself these 5 words before you impulsively buy that incredibly stylish new coat or hip pair of headphones. This is a common tip to save money for everyone, but it’s even more important while you’re at school. A trick I use is to list of all the other items I actually need instead of whatever I’m contemplating purchasing. Usually it’ll help me reprioritize correctly.

Don’t Eat Your Bank Account

I can’t speak for everyone else, but this is easily my biggest money waster at school. Your first year at school, this likely will be a bit easier to cope with because you’ll typically have a meal plan. After freshman year though, you must stray from eating out all the time or you’ll watch your bank account disappear faster than the chocolate sundae you just ate.

Make sure you shop for groceries and even buy a cheap meal plan so you can stop at the cafeteria in between classes. If you have to eat out, get the special and shoot for happy hour when bars and restaurant’s around campus have great deals. Not eating out will also help you avoid that freshman 15.

Just Say No and Other Distractions

Another one of my top money wasters – going out. Sure, everyone on your floor is going to the frat party down the street, but you only have ten dollars left on your debit card. It’s a sure path to overspending and bank fees. Put your foot down instead and opt out.

The university or college you attend will have other activities and events for you to attend for free on the weekends, usually to give students other options than emptying their bank accounts at the bars. Look at your schools calendar of events and ask other people in your building that are staying in if they want to go.

Get A Job

Another option – get a job. Yeah it sounds obvious, but plenty of students entertain the idea of their futon instead. You’ll make money instead of spend it and meet new people in the process. It’s a win-win.

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Lawrence Mack

Lawrence Mack

Lawrence Mack is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in English. When he’s not exercising, eating, reading, writing short stories, or scouring the web, Lawrence is contributing to other blogs. An avid Harry Potter fan, self-proclaimed StumbleUpon and YouTube addict, and underrated when it comes to taking naps, Lawrence is looking forward to studying abroad in Thessaloniki, Greece over the Spring Semester of 2012.