College may be the first time that many young adults will start having to manage their own life and money. For some, it may be the first time they actually have their own money to manage. This makes college a great time to start developing good money saving habits. Learning how to get into the habit of saving money is just as important at this time as learning how to budget or spend money wisely. Here are 7 great tips on how to start saving money in college.
1. Free is Always the Best
While there is nothing wrong with dropping $100 or more on tickets to your favourite band or other events, making this a weekly or monthly habit is not a good idea. Learn to be on the lookout for free or discounted prices on events and save your big dollars for just a few of the events you want most to attend.
2. Always be on the Lookout for Side Gigs
Whether it’s participating in a research study, delivering flowers on Valentine’s day or selling items you no longer use on the internet, there are almost always ways to earn a little extra cash here and there. If you are into an online business just make sure you understand everything from website hosting types to online marketing. While you may not want to juggle more than one part-time job while you are in school, always be on the lookout for ways to earn a few extra dollars here and there. Over time, those few extra dollars can really add up.
3. Create a Budget and Stick with It
It’s never too early to start budgeting money. This is particularly true if you receive a large lump sum of money at the beginning of a semester that may have to last you several months or if your income is sporadic. If nothing else, it’s always a good idea to write down all of your base expenses so you know the minimum amount of money you need each month to live on. From there you can budget things like food, clothes, personal items and other expenses.
4. Always Sock Away a Percentage of Your Income
Whether you make $10 from driving a friend to the airport or $100 a week from a part-time job, always put a percentage of your income in savings. Whether you save quarters in a gallon jug, dollars in your sock drawer or invest in an IRA, saving money is an important habit to get into. While it may seem somewhat silly to save 10% of your income when you only make $300 or $400 a month, the important thing is to get into the habit of setting aside a portion of every dollar that comes in.