The first year at college can be pretty daunting for any student. Especially when it comes to finances. You might have been given advice from your parents or talked it over with your friends, but a firsthand experience is the only way to learn. Don’t be put off by making mistakes, just keep reading, listening and investigating all the different ways to help you save money in college.
So to get started, here is five money-saving tips to get you on the road to success.
Be Credit Smart
Just a heads up, in your first few weeks at college you will be overwhelmed with all the credit card options being thrown at you left, right and center. Don’t get lured to signing up just because they have the most freebies or the salesperson is very attractive. Take your time to find out more about all the options and especially look for cards that have no annual fee with reasonable interest rates. Freebies and nice rewards are a bonus and are also used to distract you. If anyone tells you it is a limited time offer, just turn away and look for something more reliable.
Get App Savvy
Most college students these days have access to smartphone devices, which means you have a world of apps to help you be more money savvy. It can get confusing keeping up with all the different accounts and payments, so why not use technology to help simplify things? There are tons of (free) apps on the market that are designed with the college stressors in mind, even allowing you to cross reference over different accounts. Keeping your financial life simple will help you focus on your studies.
Change Banks to Suit your Needs
A big mistake made by many college students is to stick with the same bank they had in high school. Understandably there are formal procedures and investigations to be done, but in the long run, you will probably benefit from changing. For example, your financial situation is going to be extremely different, and if you are going to an out of state college, their banks might have better options for what you need.
Don’t Buy Unnecessary Items
It’s easy to get caught up in the college hype, reading lists of things to buy and pack as you make your way into the adult (ish) world. There are things that you can save on, helping you keep those pennies for things that are worthwhile. Instead of buying super expensive books, try your college library, or buy second-hand ones from Amazon or Ebay. Don’t forget to sell them back at the end of the semester to make an extra saving!
Use Public Transportation
Though it might be cool to have your car in college, it is a huge expense that you don’t need, and especially with all the other bills you are going to have to pay. For most students, college campus is accessible by foot or by public transport, so forking out that yearly insurance is not worth it. If it’s essential, try pooling together with other students and create ride sharing options.