Tips to Manage Money in College

College is not only the period in your life when you really need to learn how to manage time, but it’s also the period when you learn to manage money. When you’re coming straight from life at home, where you don’t have to pay rent, utilities, or for supplies and food (thanks mom and dad) and are shoved into self-dependency, times could feel rough. If you’re living off the check grandpa sent you last week, a meal plan (for the lucky ones), and your last paycheck from your summer job at the ice cream stand, breathe!

With my Kardashian-like spending habits except scaled down to Chipotle and Forever 21, I normally found myself just pennies away from over drafting. Don’t be freshman me! If you’re trying to effectively save cash and manage money, check out these tips I put together for you. By Christmas break, you’ll be rolling in the dough, or at least not crying to mom on the phone that you can’t even afford a 7/11 coffee.

Sell Your Clothes

manage money

Don’t lie to yourself, you’re never going to wear that sweater. And those clothes your mom got you for your birthday? The ones exactly the opposite of your style? Get rid of ‘em. Round up all of the clothes, shoes and accessories you don’t need and take them to your nearest thrift store or consignment store. Depending on the quality, brand and timeliness of what you’re selling, you could make a pretty good amount. Don’t have any good thrift stores or consignment stores near you? Sell them online or on your phone. Check out apps like Vinted and Poshmark which allow you to sell or even trade your things at a whatever price you want!

Save Your Change

manage money

It seems pretty intuitive to pay the amount owed with as much change as possible. Who likes lugging pennies around? For instance, if you owe $1.50, it seems easier to just pay that exactly, if you have change, than to pay $2.00 and get $0.50 back. Well, I’m here to tell you differently. Start saving by paying the amount in whole dollar bills and keeping your change. $0.75 here, $0.44 there, you’ll have a whole piggy bank full in no time! Take it to your bank or a Coinstar machine. Therefore, when you’re running low on cash and you need a bottle of vod… chocolate milk for the weekend, you’ll be set!

Use Money Apps

manage money

Due to some of us just swiping our credit cards and looking the other way, it’s easy to lose track of what you’re spending money on. Luckily, some people teamed up with some computer guys and created an app to make our lives a little easier. The app Mint is free to all. It allows you to connect your accounts to it, set budgets and then it tracks your spending. Other apps, like Acorns, help you learn how to invest your money. Sounds pretty grown up, no? In the end you’ll be more aware of your spending and learn better saving tactics. Yay!

Sell Your Books

manage money

Finally, the end of the semester is coming to a close sooner than we think. Unless you need to keep them, textbooks can easily be sold. Depending on the condition, original price and edition, you can sell your no longer needed books. The price is pretty good, too. and both have really easy to understand buyback options for books. No excuses!

Most of all, I hope these tips help you manage money during college! I know they have helped me over the years. Did we miss anything? Drop us a comment below!

4 Ways to Save Money During Summer

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As a current college student, I definitely know the struggle of not having a lot of money. It can be a sensitive subject for me, especially when I’m talking about it with my parents. During the summer, college students are expected to find and maintain a job to earn money but sometimes I think parents forget how hard it is to find a job. It’s not as easy as you think! You don’t always luck out and get the first job you apply for. Sometimes it will take time but until that job comes around. Here are some ways that I have managed to spend less and save money this summer.

1. Budget

I cannot stress enough how important budgeting can be. So much money can be wasted if you don’t look carefully in to how much you spend daily, weekly, or even monthly. Making some type of budget to stick with and checking it continuously can make the difference on having $20 leftover or having $200 leftover when the summer comes to an end.

2. Plan ahead

In the summer, it is so easy to swept up by random events that you want to go to like concerts or making a trip with friends somewhere. Just like budgeting, you need to plan wisely how to use your money especially if there ends up being surprised bills later on that you aren’t ready for like car problems or parking tickets. Having planned set aside money can take some stress off of spending money on bills later on knowing you had planned ahead accordingly.

3. Use Your Resources

It so easy (I’m definitely guilty of it) to spend money on things simple things like coffee or eating out for lunch when using the resources you have at home can a cheaper alternative. Making coffee at home or making dinner at home can cut out those extra expenditures that you think won’t hurt your bank account but added up monthly can leave a serious dent in your pocket.

4. Never Impulse Buy

So much money can easily disappear when you buy something spontaneously. Sure in the moment you might really like those cool pair of shoes are worth it but in the end you probably already have a pair just like it at home. Taking out the impulse purchases and cutting back can be life lessons in college that help us out in the long run.

Hopefully these tips can help you save money this summer. Comment below with more ways to save!

How to Save When you LOVE to Shop

I love to shop. Shopping is wonderful passing time when you’re bored; need “therapy,” or when you are looking to have a fun day. The only problem with shopping is that it prevents you from saving. If you’re like me, you are busy working during the summer in order to save money for school. It’s so hard to save money for school when there are so many cute clothes on sale! It also doesn’t help when you work in one of your favorite stores! I work retail at one of my all-time favorite stores to shop in, every time I work new products scream my name. I’ve been forced to learn the secrets to self-control when it comes to buying. The secrets I have learned have allowed me to save a ton of money, enough to buy my own car and help pay for school!

The first secret is to start a change jar. Change is so annoying. It weighs down your wallet, clinks in your pocket, and is rarely used when buying.  You have to keep yourself from stealing change from the jar, but when you do it adds up fast! Think about it, every time you break a bill you get more change! Once your jar gets full take it to the bank in exchange for paper money, you will be surprised at the amount of money you can walk away with! A penny is nothing on its own, but it’s worth so much when it’s grouped in numbers.

The second secret is to recycle your cans! Every can is worth 5 cents! Throwing cans away is like throwing nickels away. Find a cardboard box or old trash can and mark it “cans only,” fill it up and turn it in to your local grocery for cash! This is such an easy way to get money back for your purchase. If you’re buying canned beverages anyway, this is such a simple thing to do.
My third secret is to work a lot and spend a little; it’s easier said than done. When I am out and I want to buy I usually try to remind myself of what I’m saving for. I ask myself questions like….

  • Will I still want this in a week if I don’t buy it now?
  • How much use will I get out of it?
  • Is it worth its price tag?
  • Is this something I NEED?
  • Do I have something like it already?
  • Why do I want this?

By asking yourself the tough questions, you’ll find that the answer is usually no. If it’s not, a treat is okay once in a while. Set yourself some boundaries and try your absolute hardest to stay on the right track. It’ll all be worth it when you have money for school and the things you really need.

– Speedy G.