As a college student, either you think about finances in an interesting way, or you don’t think about them at all! So consider the bigger picture and think about how you can keep more green in your pocket.
Time is money: There are 168 hours in the week – 40 for school, 56 for sleep and the leftover 72 for other activities such as sports, socializing and part-time jobs. This means time is your major resource; when you start managing your time and identifying where you spend it, it is easier to manage your money. Pair costs with your hours and identify how you are spending to see if all that spending is justified.
Do the math: Although a few dollars here and a few dollars there on small indulgences do not seem like a big deal, keep track of what you spend on these items. Be especially aware of what you spend on food and beverages. If you spend approximately $20 a week on beverages, you will spend a total of $1,040 a year! This is quite a chunk of cash, so reducing how much you spend by a few dollars a week can really save some money.
Avoid the unnecessary: Of course you should caution against frivolous spending, but more importantly, avoid parking tickets, speeding tickets, late fees, and other charges that usually come from laziness or apathy. Follow the signs, follow the rules, and read the fine print to avoid these costly mistakes.
Find student discounts: There are tons of student discounts available on everything from travel expenses to technology costs. When making a purchase, it never hurts to ask if they offer a student discount. You can also check online for sites that feature student discount options or tips on shopping around.
Transport yourself wisely: There are times it makes sense to drive, and other times when walking, biking or taking the bus will be more economical. The obvious driving cost is gas, but driving can also have some hidden costs such as tolls, maintenance, and emergencies. If you can walk to the supermarket, go for the walk and reap the added rewards of exercise and lessening your carbon footprint.
Educate yourself: You are in college to learn. You should be learning about the different aspects of your major, your future field of choice, and about life. Numbers and finances are going to be something you deal with on a daily basis in life. Learn as much as you can and become financially aware so if you make mistakes, you can make them early and learn. If you put a smudge on your credit, it will take time to rebuild, so it’s better to smudge earlier rather than later!