Subject: Tips for Saving Money In College

Upward Bound & Talent Search
Tips for Saving Money in College 

Entering the World of Adulthood
Attending college provides a huge opportunity for students to demonstrate     their independence. During this time, students will learn valuable lessons about spending money and deciding whether to satisfy needs versus wants. 

Having independence is an exciting feeling; however, it is important to make   sure that you make smart financial decisions to avoid financial hardship. Although saving money can sometimes be a challenge, here are a few easy ways to prevent your funds from running extremely low. 

10 Easy Ways to Save in College
  • Take advantage of student discounts- Many college towns offer student discounts and coupons for various things (i.e. electronics, food, movie theater tickets, etc.). Be sure to always have your student ID handy.
  • Consider becoming a residential advisor (RA)- Becoming an RA will cover your room and board fees. Most students desire to move into an apartment after their first year in college, but serving as an RA throughout college will save you a ton of money in the long run.
  • Wait until after college to get a pet- Having a pet can get really expensive. Paying for vaccinations, food, cages or tanks, toys, bedding, and other associated costs can put a damper on your wallet. 
  • Limit the number of times you spend money out on food- Spending money out on food regularly can get very pricey and eat up funds that can be used for things you actually need. Utilizing the campus dining hall or grocery shopping can help you save a lot more money. 
  • Refrain from purchasing new textbooks-  You can save thousands of dollars each semester by renting used textbooks from you campus bookstore or by using websites like and Renting used textbooks is a cheaper option than buying new books. 
  • Don't spend your money on expensive cable- Students should not have to worry about spending all of their money on a ridiculously high cable bill. Instead, browse your campus library for their selection of free movies and TV shows. 
  • Avoid impulse shopping- It is important to monitor what you spend and make sure that you are making necessary purchases more often than unnecessary purchases.
  • Consider leaving your car at home- Choosing to utilize campus transportation can help you save a ton of money on gas, insurance, parking, and maintenance. 
  • Take advantage of student checking and savings accounts-Some banks offer accounts that require little or no minimum balance fees for college students.  It is important to do research on banks, the accounts that they have to offer, and the proximity of that bank in your college town.
  • Budget your money- Writing down your monthly expenses can help you visualize just how much you spend on a regular basis. This will allow you to see if you are making wise or poor spending habits.
Budgeting Resources 
Keeping track of your expenses will allow you stay on budget and visualize what expenses are necessary. You can use the following resources to budget your money:

  • Microsoft Excel: Microsoft excel offers various templates that you can choose from to keep record of what you're spending. It is free of charge and easy for you to download and review regularly.
  • Mint: Mint is a secure software that connects directly to your bank account to assist with creating budgets based off of your regular expenses. You can download the app on your phone or other mobile device for around-the-clock access. It will also alert you if any unusual account charges are detected. You can learn more by visiting
  • Level Money: Level Money is an app that will help you stay on track with maintaining your savings and spending goals. This app allows you to see how much money you have left to spend after each transaction. It also makes it possible for you to see the maximum about of money you can spend by day, week, and month.
Sample Budget Worksheet
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