How to Save Money in Your First Year of College

Posted in Save Money on December 8, 2020

If you have dreams of a high-paying job, or an amazing career that puts your skills into practice, then you’ll probably be thinking of going to college. This amazing learning experience gives you a chance to get to know yourself on a deeper level, and open new doors for your future. However, going to college does mean investing in yourself, which means spending quite a bit of money.

During your first year of college, you won’t just have study sessions and class schedules to keep track of. You’ll also need to think about how you’re going to manage your finances properly from week to week too. Here, we’re going to discuss some of the things you can do to help your finances in your first year of college.

1. Choose the Right Loan

Loans often have a bad reputation in the financial world, but sometimes they’re crucial to achieving your goals. Student loans ensure that you can continue to attend classes, and even pay for things like accommodation when you don’t have a lot of savings in your bank account. However, you’ll need to make sure that you’re choosing your loan correctly.

Do your research into the kind of loans that are available for someone in your situation. At the same time, remember that the best thing you can do with a student loan is ensure that you’re only borrowing what you need. You might also be able to reduce costs by getting a co-signer for your loan.

2. Take Advantage of Discounts

It’s no secret that the college years are some of the most problematic years of most people’s lives from a financial perspective. There are plenty of people out there who can tell you how hard it is to look after yourself when you have only a part-time income to rely on. The good news is that there are a lot of companies out there that are happy to help students.

The next time you go shopping, take your student ID with you and ask whether a discount is available. You should be able to save money on everything from public transport, to food, and even clothes for your job interviews.

3. Reduce the Costs of Textbooks

Textbooks are one of the items that eat up a huge portion of a student loan or spending budget. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to look for ways to save. Sites like Amazon and eBay can offer you access to used textbooks for a lower price. Just make sure that you know what kind of quality the books are in before you hand over your cash.

Another option could be to borrow or rent your books from somewhere in your local area. There are still school libraries to consider, for instance.

4. Pick a Good Bank

Just as its important to pick the right loan provider as a student, you need to choose a good bank too. The first year of college is an excellent time to open your savings and checking account if you haven’t done so already. Your account will be there to help you pay bills and make purchases, but it can also be a drain on your finances if you’re being charged constant extra fees.

Look into the banks in your area and see which ones can offer you the best deals. Remember, there may be some banks out there that offer special accounts specifically for students. These accounts might come with bonus ways to save, like extra discounts, or cashback rewards.

5. Keep Food Costs Low

One of the easiest ways to save money when you’re a student is look for the cheapest meal plans possible. Preparing simple meals ahead of schedule so you’re not tempted to order food with your fellow students could be a good idea. You can also look into low-cost chains that offer cheaper versions of popular branded products.

Keep an eye out online for coupons and vouchers that will allow you to save money on bulk items that you can use to make a lot of meals, like large bags of rice, noodles, or pasta.

6. Automate Savings

Finally, if you do manage to find any cash that you can put away for the future, reduce your risk of being tempted to spend it by automating your savings. Ask your bank to put a portion of your earnings away for the future, so that you can have some extra cash aside for things like putting a deposit on a house, or buying a new car.