How to Save Money at College

Many college students wish they knew how to save money. Let's face it: college is expensive. You can't hold down a full time job and be a successful student, and unless you're living at home, you're going to have the same expenses as any adult working a full time job. It hardly seems fair, but it's the way things are.

Fortunately, saving money isn't impossible. Follow these simple tips and you'll be able to save money at college without lacking basic necessities.

Ways to save money at college

Follow these easy tips to saving money.

1. Have a budget and stick to it. If you've never lived alone before, you might have no idea how much things like water and electricity cost. Find out and budget accordingly. If you don't have to pay those expenses (lucky you!) then make sure you find out about any other costs you might incur.

2. Look for roomates. Not only are roomies part of the college experience, they cut your expenses nearly in half, making the college financial load MUCH easier to bear.

3. Learn to do without. If you're used to being able to afford the latest fashions, late nights out on the town, and a fancy car, college life might be a surprise to you. You need to learn to really question whether you NEED a new sweater. Most of the time, you don't. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least 24 hours before making a purchase. This eliminates impulse buying and helps save money.

4. Resist the urge to rack up credit card debt. Yes, it's hard when less financially savvy people are having a great time, throwing their expenses on their credit cards and not worrying about the future. Trust me, it will come back to bite them. Credit card debt accumulates fast, and if you don't pay it off promptly, it can literally ruin your future. Save your credit card for absolute emergencies.

5. Buy your own food. College students tend to eat out a lot, which is not the way to save money. Pack your own lunches and try to schedule nights out with friends as coffee or dessert nights, not meeting for supper -- or, offer to host a potluck dinner at your place. That way, everyone saves, and you can have fun cooking together too.

It's not impossible to save money at college, although it is difficult. Self control and avoiding impulse purchases will give you the boost you need to make sure you learn how to save money at the same time you're learning facts and figures.

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