Saving money in college
Higher education is getting more expensive every day, so it makes sense to save as much money as you can even while you’re in college. Putting away that extra money from babysitting, part-time jobs and summer jobs into an interest bearing savings account—rather than spending it-will make a big difference! Future expenses like the deposit and first month's rent for a new apartment, buying a car, or a potential out-of-state move for a job, all can make a big financial impact if not planned for in advance.
So, how should you get started? Do your homework. Search traditional and online banks for the interest savings plan with the highest yield and the lowest account management fees. When choosing an account, remember the timeframe when you will need access to these accounts. Some higher yielding savings accounts also have penalties for early withdrawals. From the onset, you need to be mindful of what you anticipate saving and when you think you will need access to those funds.
How do I start building my savings account?
- Put yourself on a budget. Set aside the needed money for tuition, books, housing, and meals first and then create a budget. Tracking your monthly expenses will give you the information you need to plug those spending leaks and still save for spring break.
- Get a part-time job. Look into a part-time job if you haven't already. Try to find the type of work that aligns with your interests-for example, if you are planning on a career as a teacher, maybe you can find work as a part-time nanny near campus or as a tutor for younger children. If you let friends and family know that you're looking, they usually are a good source of job leads.
- Pay yourself first. Set up a rule in your online checking account (or transfer in person at the bank) that takes 5-20% of your earnings and automatically places it into a savings account. Saving for your future should be your first priority now. By setting up automatic transfers once, you can have this savings established and watch it grow when you receive your statements.
- Cut out nonessentials. Cutting out expenses like meals out, buying bottled water or soda, and downloading the most popular songs can really add up. Identifying your needs vs. wants can also help you establish healthy savings habits for now and in the future.
Learn the different ways you can repay your student loans here.