How to Become a Financially Smart College Student


It’s no surprise that college isn’t cheap. Between paying for classes, the cost of books, the cost of living on your own, and all of the costs associated with trying to have a life outside of school, it’s hard to start saving money in college.

Being financially smart doesn’t mean being rich. It means that you’re able to support yourself and start saving money while striving for college success.

We’re here to offer you a few financial tips to help you out. Read on to learn more.

It’s Time to Learn to Budget

If this is the first time that you’re living without your parents, you may never have had to budget before. Keeping a budget is crucial if you want to start saving money in college.

Break down your budget using the 50/20/30 method to start with and then make any necessary changes from there. This means that 50% of your budget goes to necessities, 20% goes to savings (or paying off loans) and 30% goes toward non-necessities.

While you’re a student we recommend switching the 20% and 30% options.

Write your budget down and keep it with you while you pay your bills and go shopping for necessities. It’s hard to stick to a budget, but it will make a huge difference.

Eating for Cheap: Not Just Ramen Noodles

Coming to terms with the fact that food isn’t free is a shock for some college students. You’re now responsible for feeding yourself!

If you live on campus, take advantage of meal plans. If not, learn how to cook for cheap. You can buy a few packs of ramen noodles, but we recommend a few other options.

Visit stores with bulk bins and take advantage of them. You can often find rice, beans, and pasta for far cheaper than they’d be pre-packaged. Use food blogs like BudgetBytes to learn how to make cheap and easy meals.

Focus on cheap foods and always take advantage of grocery store loyalty programs. Choose not to order takeout more than once or twice per month if you can help it. Believe it or not, with the right planning, you can make 10 dollars stretch for several days if you’re smart about it.

Credit and Bank Accounts: Do They Matter?

Take advantage of credit cards and bank accounts that are offered to students, like the Chase Student Account for college students. This is a great entryway to learning how to manage your bank account and it offers an easy way to receive direct deposits and get your money when you need it.

Start building credit as soon as possible. As a student, you have the benefit of having access to plenty of student credit cards that don’t require pre-existing credit.

Use your cards carefully. Don’t overspend and make sure that you pay them off every month. We recommend using credit cards for necessities like food and gas.

If you don’t build credit, you’ll have a harder time renting apartments, buying cars, and someday buying a home.

Be Financially Smart With These Money-Saving Tips

You can start striving for financial security as a college student if you create a budget, start building credit, and learn how to eat for a few dollars per week.

Being financially smart isn’t fun when you are working with minimal funds, but it pays off in the long run. You’ll be happy that you set yourself up for financial success.

Are you looking for more helpful financial tips and more? Check out the rest of the articles that we have on our site!