Budgeting Tips for College Students: How to Save Money

Between the money spent on classes, books, food plans and other supplies, college students often have little flexibility in their budgets. Therefore, it's important for college students to understand how to budget their money to make it last all semester.

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Budgeting tips related to spending, credit card use, room expenses and lifestyle can be helpful for college students.

Budgeting Tips

Here are a few helpful budgeting tips for college students:

Track Spending

College students who want to save money need to know what they're spending their money on. When bank account balances get low, students may want to examine their spending records and see which expenses they can go without. Budgeting and expense sheets can be found and printed on many different websites.

Use Budgeting Apps

Students who don't have previous experience with budgeting can download budgeting apps to help them keep expenses in check. Some of the free ones include:

  • Mint
  • Save! The Game
  • Easy Envelop Budget Aid
  • P2K Money

Don't Abuse Credit Cards

Credit cards can come in handy during emergencies, especially since balances can be paid off at a later date. However, credit cards very often lead to financial ruin and bankruptcy when people fail to monitor how much they're spending. Ideally, college students should use their credit cards for emergencies only. College students who regularly use credit cards should aim to pay off their balance each month to avoid finance charges.

Talk to Roommates

It's important for students to get in contact with their roommates before the semester begins to figure out who will be paying for which expenses. Students who live off campus might want to figure out each roommate's share of the rent and utilities before any of them are paid. On-campus students can find out who is bringing which accessories and supplies to avoid having to buy new items after the semester begins. A little communication will also help ensure that students don't double-up on unnecessary items, which could save money in the long run.

Live Like a College Student

College students often struggle financially, and many accumulate a considerable amount of debt during their college careers. Students must realize that every penny counts and that their college years are not the time to live extravagantly. College students interested in saving money should live as frugally as possible. That could mean limiting an individual's daily latte purchases, missing out on a few concerts or avoiding take-out and restaurant bills by cooking at home.

Take Advantage of Student Discounts

Many companies offer discounts for students. Whether you are buying a computer, riding the bus or attending a show, you may be able to save a little bit of money by presenting your student identification card.

Finding More Budgeting Tips

Many college and university websites offer resources dedicated to teaching students to budget their money throughout the semester. A simple Internet search of university websites can help students locate the collegiate budgeting tips that are right for them.

By keeping track of their expenses and living frugally, college students can make sure that they are able to pay for their education while still maintaining a stable financial situation.

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