Becoming a freshman at college means that a whole new world of opportunity is being opened up to you; the chance to live alone, to eat what and where you want, enjoy a rich social life and – of course – study your chosen subjects. With all this choice comes financial responsibility and while this may seem terrifying at first, it is not hard to save money efficiently with some simple management and day-to-day tips.
Saving money effectively means managing money.
Before you can start saving money efficiently and finding little tricks and local resources to help you out, you need to have a basic awareness of the money you actually have and how it can be spent. Understanding what you can and cannot spend means being aware of everything from your spending habits and bank statements to your credit cards. Most importantly, you need to create a budget to break down your money into spending brackets and make sure every aspect of student life is covered. Thankfully, there are now plenty of budget planning apps to help. To help you budget better manage your money make sure you’re applying for all available college grants and scholarships. Sites like grants for college guide can help you find ways to improve your chances of winning college grants.
How to stretch your new budget further and save even more.
Once you have figured out how to create your budget, there are plenty of measures that can help your money go further and ensure that your $50 for food or spending money is used in the best possible way. In some cases you may have to make some drastic changes – such as leaving the car behind to save on petrol and maintenance costs and forsaking some weekend luxuries – but there are smaller changes that can make a big difference.
It may be tempting to stick with your favourite brands and hit the high-end coffee houses but there are sure to be cheaper alternatives and student hang-outs on campus that offer something just as good for a better deal. Don’t be afraid to shop around in all aspects of your spending, whether it is on food, clothes or college supplies; take the time to find student-friendly outlets, look out for special discounts and student deals and don’t be intimidated by clipping coupons.
Saving money during your freshman year at college does not have to be hard if you take the time to look for helpful measures and stay committed to a plan. Remember that there is nothing wrong with holding back on buying something at full price if it means more money for food or a night out and there is no shame in buying second-hand books because the information inside is not going to change. As long as you have the basics of money management and a good budget in place, the other tricks should be easy to enjoy and you should find yourself saving plenty of cash over the semester.