It’s no secret that students who take care of their finances in college will be better off now and in the future.
The problem is, not everyone knows what qualifies as sound financial advice for college students.
In this article, we’ll share some quick tips for saving money fast and keeping yourself stable as you work yourself through school.
Set and Stick With a Budget
Setting a budget is the cornerstone of any financial advice for college students (or any person, for that matter). When you’re intentional with money, you set yourself up for success.
Building a budget is simple in practice. Add up all your income and subtract this from your expenses. If the number is a net positive, you’re okay. Tweak and tune your budget to cut unnecessary expenses so you have more coming in.
If the number is negative, you have some work to do. Balance the ledger as soon as possible. Then stick to your budget going forward.
Sell Old Items
If you need cash fast, sell old stuff you don’t use anymore. It’s one of the easiest ways to save money in college that barely affects your lifestyle.
Sell old sports gear, clothes, and technology you’re no longer using. Set that money aside or use it to pay for things related to college.
Avoid High-Interest Rates
Sometimes taking on debt can be necessary. But taking on debt with insane interest rates is not. In fact, it’s a bad idea.
Ideally, you should be paying your cards off each month. But if not, you don’t want to be accumulating tons of extra debt owed in interest.
When researching your options for credit cards and student loans, shop for the lowest rates. As a young person with little credit, you might still get a high rate. But even a difference of one or two percent will save you tons of money in the long run.
Build an Emergency Fund
Life is going to happen. The car’s going to break down, or you’re going to need two hundred extra dollars for books.
Set a little aside (between $500 and $1,000 ideally) for a rainy day. Put it in an account or leave it in cash with your parents so you can’t spend it on a whim. Then it’s there when you need it.
Don’t Worry About Investments Yet
Motivated college students sometimes look ahead to the future. Don’t worry too much about investing for retirement or putting money in stocks just yet. Just remember, you have plenty of time.
The path to saving a million dollars is really not that bad, so long as you start by age 25. This gives you a few years to worry about paying for school and getting a great first job.
By all means, do it if you can pay cash for necessary expenses now, but don’t worry too much if you can’t.
Financial Advice for College Students
Financial advice for college students doesn’t have to be complicated. Ultimately, it’s about setting a budget and sticking to your plan.
Try to end the month with a positive balance and build a rainy day fund. And avoid high-interest credit cards to save you from getting in trouble with debt.
For more business and finance tips, check out the rest of our blog!