Amy’s Mind Opening Tips To Save Money In College


Amy Nickson answers the question- How can students begin to start a financially efficient life? Great tips for all college kids to consider as these good habits can last a lifetime.

Entering college is the best time for students to become financially savvy as much as possible.

This is the time when students start dealing with money independently. They start managing their education cost, rent, grocery, utility, credit cards, student loan, and other financial duties on their own. Students get more freedom to decide where and how to manage money; no one is there to restrict them.

Unfortunately, most of the students don’t understand the importance of good financial habit and start living their life lavishly. Thus, they face the financial crunch in their college life. Some students are forced to quit their studies due to severe financial problems.

Read on to discover which bad financial habits are draining your money and how to avoid them to save money.

Smoking and drinking

Smoking and drinking are quite expensive habits, especially for students who have to live with limited money. Eliminating the habit of smoking can save you $25 a week. If you are able to quit the habit of drinking, you can save $30 more in a week.
Though quitting these habits can be difficult, but you can at least try to eliminate these habits by smoking or drinking on social occasions or on nights out. However, don’t plan for a night out every weekend, you will end up with no money in your pocket. Also avoiding pubbing and clubbing will help you spending money on overpriced drinks.

Eating out

Most of the students don’t like cooking at home; they either buy food on campus or rely on restaurants for lunch and dinner. Some students are even fan of Starbucks latte.
Avoid buying food on campus and save $10 a week. Remember, by staying away from expensive restaurants, you can easily be able to save a lot of money.

Breakfast from Starbucks: $8- $10 per day
Lunch or brunch: $10 per day
Dinner: $10-$20 per day

Instead of spending so much when your budget is limited, you should prepare and optimize food as recommended by Efficiency Is Everything.

Plan and prepare your breakfast lunch, snacks and preserve them in the refrigerator. Have breakfast at home or carry the food if you are in hurry.

Buying branded and new items

Since most of the students live with a roommate to share the rent, they shouldn’t buy the branded and new items.

For example, buy furniture, TV, kitchen utensil, and other necessary goods separately. Buying the items separately will help you to avoid money hassle when you move out. Sharing expenses with roommates is also an unwise money move.

Instead of buying new items, go for used items. By doing so, you will not feel bad when your items will be used roughly with your roommate.

In addition to this, students should avoid buying branded items like clothes, food, drink, medicine, and cleaning products to save money. Go for lesser known brands and basics; there is no or little difference between them and the original brand.

Not paying credit card bills

A credit card is one of the most attractive tools for college students; they can get anything by using it.

Well, using a credit card is good to build the credit history, but using it in a wrong way can create huge financial trouble.

Thus, students should be aware of some golden rules of using a credit card like:

  • Using a credit card is not enough, you should pay the bill in full and within time.
  • You should stay within your credit limit.
  • Avoid buying an item using the credit that you can’t afford with cash.
  • The credit card is not free money.

Remember, not paying the credit card bill in full and within the time can create credit card debt trouble. Once you default, you will be charged an interest rate of between 12% and 24% of the money that was borrowed.
Even if the credit card is guaranteed by your parent, you should deal with it responsively. Remember, you irresponsibility can create the financial mess for your loving parent. User Amy recommends checking this out for tips on budgeting to help pay credit card bills.

Remember, falling into the credit card debt can create trouble in completing your studies. So, deal with your credit card responsively.

Buying textbook from the college campus bookstore

Many students are spending too much by buying new books from their campus bookstore. Instead of it, you should buy the used textbook or rent the books that are required for the semester. You can also buy books online. Buying a brand new book can cost you $130 and renting the same book can cost you $40. By doing so, you can save thousands of dollar over four years of your college life.
Also, try to sell the books that are no longer important. There are many merchants online who buy books.

Using a car instead of public transport

Owning a car can cost you a lot of money. You have to spend money on buying gas, insurance, parking, and maintenance. Thus, you shouldn’t buy a car when you are a student. Try to choose a college where owning a car isn’t necessary for students. Consider a bike or public transport instead of starving to buy the gas for your car. It will help you to save a lot during the four years of college life.

Lastly, every student should follow a budget

It will help them to control spending and manage their money easily. The budget will help them to understand where their money is going. Once they notice they are running out of their budget, they can start controlling their spending habit. Well, creating a budget is no more a daunting task. You can easily take help from an online budgeting app to manage your money.

-Amy Nickson

Thanks to Amy with fantastic tips. I strongly agree with the eating approach as in college I started the original Calorie Per Dollar list.

Find other optimizations, Caffeine Per Dollar, Alcohol Per Dollar, and Wine Per Dollar.