For a lot of students, college is an exciting time because it’s the first time that they get a taste of independence.
And it is because of this independence that young people really begin to learn and understand the value of money.
College students, even those who have part-time jobs, may have quite a limited budget, and it is their responsibility to figure out how to make it work.
And to make it work, they have to keep track of their expenses and be a smart spender so they can pay for their bills, have enough to eat, buy textbooks and other educational paraphernalia, and keep part of their money in savings.
Here are a few things to help college students make that happen.
1. Save on textbooks
You don’t need to buy new textbooks. Those things can get very expensive. If you know someone in your college or university who took the same subjects you are about to, try to ask if you can borrow their books or buy them for less.
If you are too shy to ask, buying second-hand books online is another option.
You can also opt for a digital copy of your textbooks一it will cost much less, plus it’s more convenient because you wouldn’t have to lug heavy books around all the time.
2. Choose the right bank
Usually, banks around college campuses offer bank accounts tailored for college students. These savings or checking accounts will have little to no minimum balance and have lower fees.
Always monitor your spending and make sure you do not overdraft as overdraft fees can get ridiculously expensive.
3. Pay interest while in school
You can pay off the interest on your student loans while you are in school. This way, you can save thousands of dollars in accumulated interest in the future. $10 or $20 a month can help you save down the road.
4. Be wise with credit
It’s important that you develop good credit this early. Bad credit will follow you around like a bad stench for years. It can affect your opportunity of getting good jobs and getting low interest on loans.
Pay your credit card dues on time and be very wise when it comes to spending money using your credit card. Remember, the interest in these things can get pretty high.
5. Student discounts can help you save
Apple and Microsoft offer college student great deals allowing you to get a laptop at a cheaper price. Even coffee shops around or close to your campus will offer student rates to college students.
Ask for student discounts wherever you go. You’d be surprised at how many stores actually offer it.
6. Make use of campus amenities
Why pay for an expensive gym membership when you have access to your college gym?
There are also a lot of choices when it comes to social activities like free movies, sports tournaments, fitness classes, and even motivational sessions with high profile speakers.
These are included in your tuition so you might as well take advantage of them.
7. Generate extra income
Sell things you no longer need. Do you have textbooks from last semester that you no longer need?
Sell them. If you’re good at a particular subject, you can tutor your fellow students for a price. Or get a part-time job if you don’t have one yet.
This article originally appeared here.