College is often your first foray into the real world. For many it is their first time living on their own and their first chance at being truly independent. While this sense of independence can be exhilarating it also comes with a great deal of responsibility. One of the responsibilities you will find yourself faced with is that of maintaining your finances. If this worries you, have no fear! We have some suggestions on how you can stay on top of your finances while at college.
Students are lucky, in that most people understand that while you may technically be independent adults you may not be financially secure. They also understand that students have many expenses ranging from tuition fees to living expenses, and so, many places offer student discounts. Restaurants, clothing stores and even bookshops often have student discounts that you should definitely make use of. You will likely save a couple of dollars and this can easily add up! If there is no sign on student discounts always inquire! Your campus may also offer subsidised rates at affiliated bookstores or food outlets that you should take full advantage of. Especially if they offer discounted library membership – this will definitely come in handy!
It is never too early to start saving money. While this may seem pointless in college understand that it is highly likely that you will leave with not just a degree but also, very likely, with a mountain load of student debt. Maintaining savings is one sure debt reduction strategy. You really should plan ahead so that your debt reduction strategies are in place when you leave. Other ways in which you can save money is to look into your weekly expenses at college and cut down on unnecessary items. For instance, if you are on a college meal plan but could possibly cook for less at home then make the switch. Similarly if you have access to subsidised housing on campus rather than renting your own place, then look into that as yet another way to save some additional cash.
Stick to a budget
Even as a student it is important to live within your means. Create a weekly or monthly budget debt reduction, at http://thinkmoney.com.au/debt-reduction/. Avoid impulse purchases and spending on unnecessary food and drinks. While occasional treats are okay or spending money on travelling or gaining new experiences, avoid wasting cash on things like coffee, stationery and clothing that you could easily buy for less or do without.