In today’s post I will share my best tips for how to manage money in college, with 15 money management tips that are perfect for university students.
Let’s get started!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase via my link I may get a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend things I use and love, but for any questions, refer to my full disclosure here.
1. Open Different Accounts
The first tip for how to manage money in college is to open different accounts for different purposes!
Open a different account with your bank and set aside money in this account that you cannot spend. You can keep this money for general savings, or you can set it aside for a certain purpose. For example, I have an account to save money for a house, and one that is my travel fund.
2. Set Weekly Saving Goals
Our next tip is to have a goal that you want to save each week! Things are easier when you have goals and it can make you more motivated. Just remember to make them realistic. It doesn’t have to be a large amount; by saving just $10 a week, which would account for $520 per year.
3. Set a Budget
By setting a budget, you know what you can spend! Try to stick to this budget the best you can. By doing this, you know what you should spend weekly, and it will help you not to purge too much on shopping sprees. However, if you do have a special occasion, do not worry if you go over budget. This happens now and again, and you can just make up for it another week.
4. Make Coffee At Home
This tip is more for saving money, but making your coffee at home instead of getting daily Starbucks will save you SO much money.
I know, it’s really hard to give up Starbucks. However, even if you have one less coffee a week, that can save around $4, totaling $200 for the year. Even
better, make all your coffee at home. You can still make excellent coffee, and it can be a fraction of the price. The theory to this tip applies to many things, for example, have water while eating out, and have the beer at home! (If you’re over 21 obviously)
5. Start Investing
I know this sounds a bit daunting at first, but you won’t learn this unless you just start!
Invest your money or store it with the bank for interest. If you’re confident, invest your money, generally, it will provide more of a return than the bank. However, if this is for you, be smart and ask for advice from experts and family members. If you’re more cautious, banks will pay you interest for you to save your money with them. The percentage will vary, but it won’t be a huge amount.
6. Pay With Cash
This tip is a little more unusual but pay with cash when shopping. By leaving your bank card at home, or by only using it for emergencies, you are much less likely to get carried away.
This can be psychological because if you hand over physical money you realize how much you are spending. Also, you can only bring the amount of money you want to spend which makes you stick to your budget more easily.
7. Track Your Spending
I love this tip because it keeps me accoutable and more organized!
Keep a spreadsheet, for example, write down what you spend, and
analyze it at the end of each month. You can track how much you spend on what, and it will help you realize what category you spend too much on.
This might help you to decide what to cut down on, and since you know you need to track your spending, you might be less likely to get carried away.
8. Start a Side Hustle
Making money in your spare time is not just great for the extra money, but the money management skills it can teach you!
There are so many different ways to make money in your spare time, from getting a job to being a freelancer!
Check out job ideas for students here:
- 15+ Ways to Make Money as a Student
- 12 Websites that pay $20/hour to Students
- Ideas for Make Money from Home
- 10 Ways to Make Money in 2021
9. Share Subscriptions With Others
By sharing your Netflix and Spotify accounts with friends and family you save a lot of money!
Sharing these services with people will help cut down on costs, and
usually, they offer options for the service to be used by more than one user for a small fee.
Bonus tip: Spotify, Amazon Prime, and many more services offer discounts for students! Click here to get 6 MONTHS FOR FREE on Amazon Prime.
10. Take Advantage of Your Family
This shouldn’t be sounding weird, but if you are ever in a position where you need money, go to your family first instead of trying to get it from strangers.
No one ever wants to be in a position that they need money, but if you do, ask your family first. It is not a guarantee that your family will lend you money, but if they do this can save you paying interest, and also saving you the panic and pressure.
Always tell them when you will repay the money, however, if you have a generous family, they will be more flexible!
11. Use University Support
If you ever feel like you are struggling with money and you need support, go to your university. My university has a financial support center for example, you can go to them for advice and support, and they will recommend the best options.
They can help with shopping addictions, debt, gambling addictions, etc.
12. Rent And Share Items
Borrow, rent, and share items! No matter if you live alone or have a roommate, by sharing items you can save a lot of money.
For example, do you really need your own hoover? Share it with people who live around you, and the cost will be much less.
Even better, someone has one already? Ask to borrow it every so week, this will save you so much money on many different items, usually, friends will let you borrow them for free but if you feel guilty, take them for coffee every so often!
13. Ditch Disposables
Don’t buy disposable items! By buying one-use items, you will throw them away and have to re-purchase them every time.
Invest in quality items that you can re-use over and over again.
Not only will this save you money long term but it is also better for the
environment! If you want to know more about how to be sustainable check out this guide!
If you’re looking for good sustainable items, read this post with sustainable school supplies.
14. Get a Credit Card
Consider getting a credit card. What?! Why?! You’re crazy!!
There is a reason for this. By getting a credit card and keeping up with the payments, you are building a credit score. In the long term, a good credit card can cut down on how much interest you have to pay on a
mortgage for example.
However, be careful, always pay it off on time, and generally be sensible with the extra income, don’t blow it as if it was free money!
15. Manage Your Debt Smart
Our last tip to manage money in college is to manage your debt well if you have it.
No one wants debt, but if you do, manage it well. That means, be realistic with what you can pay and when, and then keeping up with these payments. Missing payments will always make it worse, so follow the other tips and track spending.
Also, seek help if you need it. If you are realistic with the debt and make a plan to repay it, then you will. You got this!
I hope this guide on how to manage money in college helped you get ideas and tips to get better at money management as a student!
Don’t forget to check out the linked posts, they are really resourceful and help you get deeper into making money and budgeting.