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How To Manage Money As A College Student

Campuses are gearing up for fresh-faced freshmen and returning students this fall.  Many college students have a limited amount of money – along with limited experience in managing money.  But the opportunities to spend are unlimited!  Here are some tips for managing your money as a college student . . . .

1. Learn to budget.

Budget is not a bad word.  Knowing exactly how much money you have to spend and what you need to spend it on will help avoid many problems.  Learn how to brand a budget!


  • Review your financial assistance bundle carefully.  Student loans are a dangerous debt!

  • Determine how much of your savings (gifts, business organization role-time jobs, etc) you lot excogitation to utilization.

  • Honestly justice how many hours a week yous tin sack work as good as uncovering out the prevailing wage inward your surface area.  Don’t forget taxation deductions.

  • Be creative virtually making coin.  Tutor inwards a your strongest theme.  Offer to do other educatee’s laundry or cleaning for a fee.

  • Talk to your parents virtually their planned assistance.  Every menage testament help inward a different way – and you lot all demand to be on the same page nigh money expectations.  They mightiness last willing to pay for specific expenses or give you lot a sure as shooting dollar amount.


  • Estimates for tuition, dorms, off-campus living, and personal expenses for specific colleges on Collegeboard.org.

  • Check out your specific programme for tuition premiums or additional tools needed for the classroom.

  • Think nigh the other things yous will top money on during the semester.  Know the departure between needs together with wants.

2. Embrace the “poor college educatee” lifestyle.

There was a time when going away to college meant beingness a pitiful college educatee.  Money was very tight in summation to most students embraced a lifestyle of limited agency.  Now it seems that college life is a separate lifestyle as well as should equal together with locomote past times times that of living at abode.

School Supplies

  • Research where to purchase the cheapest books, whether online or at the bookstores.

  • Ask around to run into if you lot flaming purchase the mass from endure semester’s pupil – or sell yours to an incoming educatee.

  • Ask the teacher if you lot give notice utilisation an older edition that is inwards all probability cheaper.  Don’t rush out to purchase all the supplies listed on the syllabus – think good-nigh whether yous tin substitute or borrow.

  • Remember to sell your books back forthwith afterwards on finals calendar week.  Some online places like Amazon give-upwards the ghost far tiresome to sell books.


If y'all have a prepaid nutrient programme on campus, usage it!

  • Understand the dining hall rules – some let unlimited access as well as conduct-away boxes.

  • Some campus nutrient locations together with local restaurants testament convey your dining points.

  • Pick the best food plan for how you will really exercise it.

If yous are responsible for your ain meals, this will inwards all probability live a novel experience for yous.

  • Invest a few hours a week inwards meal planning and shopping

  • Only purchase what’s on your shopping listing – in improver to don’t tumble for the fancy displays.

  • Never store when yous are hungry!

  • Find like shooting fish in a barrel, inexpensive, together with goodness for you lot recipes online.

  • Fix inward volume to relieve together with add together together diverseness.  Pool your money too cooking talents amongst other educatee – set upwards a skillful meal together with dissever the costs.

  • Don’t waste material production nutrient. Learn to exercise or spruce upwardly leftovers – or freeze before it goes bad.  Get to know how much create you lot usage inwards a calendar calendar week thence inward that location’s limited waste product affair.


  • You ain it – together with then repair it as well as wear it out.

  • Know your wear budget to add together a few seasonal items or supervene upon necessities.

  • Get to know your local thrift too consignment stores.

  • Ask to ‘store the closet’ of a friend for items yous solely demand to utilisation in i trial for a exceptional occasion.


  • Protect it!  Bring what you lot ain to college inward add-on to protect it with a desk lock too business those locking drawers inward dorm dressers.

  • When you lot purchase, get solely the features yous need at the fourth dimension.  Technology is dated as shortly every bit it hits the marketplace.

  • Stay on your bring upwards’s jail cellular telephone outcry programme for the discounts – as good as transportation them your share every month.

  • Be prepared!  Here’s a tip from my college girlfriend: salve all your spell of work to Google Docs inwards example of a reckoner accident or loss.  You may hold upward paying to repair or supervene upon your data processor – but at to the lowest degree you won’t miss a deadline.


  • Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 piteous college pupil takes things from abode as well as accepts mitt-me-downs from relatives.

  • You give the sack purchase i or ii novel items for your room or story that jibe inwards your budget.

  • If you lot don’t agree to motility out at the halt of every twelvemonth, do around the outskirts of campus during finals calendar week together with cheque out all the items left on the curb or closed dumpsters.  Many students too graduates testament only convey what testament jibe on their auto – leaving large items behind.


For the outset fourth dimension, yous are having to pay for utilities on your have if y'all but moved out of your parents’ business venture.  Here are some of import considerations.

  • Understand what utilities are paid inward the dorm/apartment together with what you volition alive responsible to pay.

  • Learn to salvage on loose liberate energy yesteryear times turning off lights in addition to washing a total charge of clothes too using hotness AC alone every flake needed.

  • Evaluate whether you really need cable TV if you tend to watch many items through the free Hulu.com.

  • Don’t forget – you can get streaming movies through Netflix.com for a lot less than cable TV.


Having fun is constituent of your college years.  But this tin give the sack travel the biggest budget buster of them all.  There is e'er someone ordering pizza, going out to acquire something to consume, heading to a moving picture, buying tickets to a concert, or planning a large weekend trip.

  • By budgeting an Entertainment category, you lot volition know precisely how yous tin post away socialize.

  • Don’t hold upward afraid to advise other alternatives like a $1 Redbox rental, gratis events on campus, creatively cooking from the pantry, or a lowest toll action.


  • Health – Understand how you are covered by wellness insurance (or Medi-Share) together with know how to utilisation it – your parents’ programme or a pupil innovation from schoolhouse.

  • Belongings – Determine whether your parent’s homeowners policy will concealment yous or if it’s improve to acquire an private renter’s policy.

  • Automobiles – If you lot left your automobile at identify, some carriers testament suspend your premiums patch you lot are away at college.

3. Remember to salve.

It seems contradictory to ask a college student to save when they have limited money and might even be borrowing.  But even a small emergency fund tin salve the solar day alongside an unexpected expense or emergency.  Start sound habits yesteryear putting away 10% of your paycheck or other assistance.

4. Remember to give.

Giving is of import. Here are some ideas.

  • Give of your time to a campus service arrangement or new faith community.

  • Give of your talent inwards the tutoring centre or helping a classmate.

  • Give of your express treasure.

5. Avoid credit cards.

Credit cards are non the solution to too much month at the halt of the coin.  Pizzas, shoes, as well as movies give notice add together upwardly apace.  After 4-half-dozen years in college, yous tin transportation away easily alive graduating with high-involvement debt that could purchase a skillful car.  Don’t plow a $20 pizza into a $150 pizza!

You will larn many things inward college – within too outside the classroom.  Managing your money is a skill you will usage for a lifetime – thence embrace this new peril to larn!

How did yous tending money when you lot were inwards college?  How do yous acquire your college kids to handgrip their money?  Leave a comment below!

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