You've heard the old phrase, "a penny saved is a penny earned?" For college students, even pennies can have significance. Tuition costs keep rising, as do student debt loans. When you're focused on success in the classroom, your earning power declines, and every bit of money you can scrimp and save is important.
To help you stretch your money further, below we've listed five smart money saving tips for college students.
1) Take advantage of student discounts
The local movie theater isn't the only place that will give you a nice discount for being enrolled in college. In fact, you might be amazed just how many organizations offer college savings programs.
Multitudes of popular retailers offer significant discounts for those with a student ID. Online retail giant Amazon gives college students a break on their popular Prime package, while Apple offers discounts on Macs and iPads.
2) Make smart banking decisions
If you're a college student seeking to save money every month, it's a smart idea to comparison shop and get the best deal on a checking or savings account. In most cases, a credit union offers the lowest fees and highly competitive rates.
That's a big deal for students who are relatively new to the banking system. It's easy to become confused by terms at a commercial bank, and quickly rack up unnecessary fees as a result. The more flexible and forgiving terms at a credit union are a better choice for most students.
3). Be careful with debt
Most college students are living on a limited budget, and many are receiving credit card offers for the first time. While there is nothing wrong with using credit (it's a smart idea to start building your credit in college), you want to make sure you do it the right way.
That means not borrowing outside of your limits. Try and avoid taking on debt that you can't repay at the end of the month, as money spent on interest payments is money you could be saving.
4). Budget carefully
You might be surprised how much money you're spending on items that aren't necessities. Make an effort to carefully record everything you spend over the course of a month, then look for areas where you can save.
By doing so, you can trim the fat from your budget and get some financial breathing room.
5). Save money on books
Books are a significant expense for college students, as they can easily cost more than $1,000 per semester. Yet some savvy students have discovered ways to minimize this expense.
By purchasing your books offseason and reselling them during peak buying season, you can significantly lower your costs. Book rentals and library copies are other good options.
At KeyPoint Credit Union, we understand that college students need to save whenever possible. Please see how our services can help you cut your expenses and save more money for the important things in life.