College is a time for learning and for figuring out who you are. It’s exciting. But it can also be expensive, especially if you have to pay for college yourself (i.e. – no parents footing the bill). That’s why it’s important to save money while you’re in school. You’ll need a source of income as well as somewhere to keep it all. By saving money, you’re preparing yourself for the future and reducing your student loan debts. Whether you want to take an extravagant trip abroad or buy a brand new car, there’s always something that can be saved for. Saving money will help you stay sane during your four years in college by helping to reduce stress and giving you something to look forward to on the horizon.

How Much Money Should I Save as a College Student

The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems. You might have heard that you should save 10% of your gross income, but that’s not necessarily true. The secret is to use the right tools to figure out how much money you need to save in order to achieve your goals, which might be different from someone else’s goals.

For example, if you want to buy a car after graduation, then saving 10% may not be enough for you. If you already own a car, then saving more than 10% might be unnecessary and wasteful.

You also need to consider how much debt you owe on other loans like credit cards and student loans before deciding how much money you should save as a college student.

This article will help you figure out how much money you should save as a college student by offering some tips on how to get started with saving money while still in school!

As a college student, you’re probably thinking about a lot of things—from what classes you need to take and how much money you’re going to spend on textbooks each semester, to whether or not it’s worth getting an apartment off campus instead of living in the dorms.

But one thing that many college students don’t think about is how much money they should be saving for the future.

While it might seem like something that doesn’t really apply to you right now, saving money as a young person can have significant benefits later on in life.

Budgeting Advice for College Students

Calculate your net income

You might be taking a part-time job or an internship while in college to help pay for your education and cover living expenses. Additionally, you can receive money from loans, grants, scholarships, or a monthly allowance from your parents. Your monthly income is a crucial component of your budget since it establishes the ceiling on how much you can spend.

You should figure out your net income, which is the amount of money you make after taxes, before starting to create a budget. Regardless of whether you work full- or part-time, if you receive a monthly paycheck from your company, the sum that is put into your bank account is your net income.

Try to determine an average amount that you can typically count on each month if you are an hourly worker whose hours vary from week to week and month to month. Choose a lower amount so you don’t run the risk of going over budget.

In order to avoid being caught off guard by a hefty tax payment at the end of the year, you should deduct taxes from your salary and store them in a separate account if you make a living as a freelancer. You can estimate your yearly tax obligation using the TaxAct calculator, then divide that figure by 12 to obtain an estimation of your monthly tax obligation.

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List monthly expenses

As a college student, you’re probably trying to figure out how to pay for the things that you need to get by. You want to make sure that you’ve got enough money for food, textbooks, and other essentials. But how much do those things cost?

To help keep you on track with your monthly budget, we’ve put together a list of some common expenses that college students might face. This will give you an idea of what kind of funds you’ll need in order to stay on top of your bills while in school.

The first thing to consider is the cost of food. If your campus is close by, it might be tempting to eat all your meals there—but this can get expensive fast! If possible, try cooking at home or bringing lunch from home instead. And if neither option is viable for whatever reason, look into meal plans offered by your university or local grocery stores that offer discounts on food purchases made with their cards.

Another important expense is books and other course materials; unfortunately these are usually required in order to pass classes so they’re not optional expenses like food is (unless you have a very lenient professor). The good news is that most colleges have bookstores where textbooks can be.

Organize your expenses into fixed and variable categories

Budgeting is a great way to make sure that you have enough money to cover all of your expenses, and it can also help you to be more aware of how much money you’re spending.

It’s important to organize your expenses into fixed and variable categories. Fixed expenses are things like rent, utilities, and car insurance. Variable expenses are things like food or entertainment that change from month to month depending on how much money you have available.

It’s important to remember that some things might be considered fixed for one person but variable for another—for example, it may be fixed for someone who lives alone and has no roommates but variable for someone who lives with roommates or family members who share the cost.

As a college student, you’re probably trying to figure out how to pay for the things that you need to get by. You want to make sure that you’ve got enough money for food, textbooks, and other essentials. But how much do those things cost?

To help keep you on track with your monthly budget, we’ve put together a list of some common expenses that college students might face. This will give you an idea of what kind of funds you’ll need in order to stay on top of your bills while in school.

The first thing to consider is the cost of food. If your campus is close by, it might be tempting to eat all your meals there—but this can get expensive fast! If possible, try cooking at home or bringing lunch from home instead. And if neither option is viable for whatever reason, look into meal plans offered by your university or local grocery stores that offer discounts on food purchases made with their cards.

Another important expense is books and other course materials; unfortunately these are usually required in order to pass classes so they’re not optional expenses like food is (unless you have a very lenient professor).

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Determine the average monthly cost for each expense

List your monthly spending for each expense once you have distinguished between fixed and variable costs. To determine the amount, use your bank and credit card statements.

It is simple to put a dollar value on the cost of many fixed expenses you incur because they often remain constant from month to month. For instance, your monthly expenses for rent or room and board, a food plan, insurance, and phone service are probably going to be the same. Some variable costs, like your gym subscription, could also have a defined monthly cost.

Some fixed and variable costs, however, are not predetermined. Renting an independent apartment away from school means paying for utilities like gas and electric, which can change from month to month. The same holds true for household products, takeout, and groceries.

You’ll need to use math to establish the average monthly cost for any categories where your spending varies from month to month. The math is rather easy to understand: Divide by three the total amount spent over the course of three months on an expense. You might wish to increase the sum by five or ten percent. You might wish to set the spending cap at $125 or $130 if your three-month average grocery expenditure is $123.

Make adjustments

Making sure the numbers add up requires comparing all the data you acquired during the budgeting process. See if you have enough money coming in each month to pay all of your bills by comparing your net income to your monthly spending.

It’s time to change your lifestyle if you can’t afford it. In addition to thinking about strategies to increase your income, such as working more hours, you should also examine ways to reduce your expenses.

This can entail spending less on varying costs, including restricting takeout orders and canceling subscriptions to streaming services you don’t use frequently. Additionally, you might want to modify some fixed expenses to account for rising costs. To save more money when you shop for groceries, clip digital coupons ahead of time and choose store brands over name-brand products. Find a new place to live that has lower rent if you’re looking to relocate.

Get a job

Obviously, college should be enjoyable. Enjoying your first taste of independence is important, and the social components of college are almost as important as the academic ones. However, if you can, adding a part-time employment to the mix can greatly aid in managing a budget. It’s not an uncommon difficulty because 40% of students reportedly work while attending school. In order to accommodate students, many college jobs have flexible schedules; therefore, try to locate something that will fit into your workload without overtaxing you. The ability to manage a budget greatly benefits from having that extra money. You can set up KOHO to swiftly receive direct deposit cash, ensuring that you always have access to your money.

Pay off high-interest debt first

Living on a budget can have some particularly pernicious side effects, such as credit card debt accumulation. Additionally, holding onto high-interest debt for too long can be financially disastrous because it will rise at a faster rate than other debt. It can also gradually lower your credit score, which is a snowball effect nobody wants. You already have student loan debt, therefore it will benefit you in the long term to make payments on the debt with higher interest rates first.

In addition to managing your credit card payments, you can set up KOHO to automatically monitor and deduct payments for your other expenses. Increase or treble payments on high-interest debt if you can to pay it off as fast and completely as you can and prevent it from rising.

Shop deals and use coupons

Although using coupons is not the coolest thing ever, it is undoubtedly cooler than spending full price for something you could purchase for less. When you shop regularly, keep an eye out for sales at the stores. When looking for discounts, KOHO gives extra cash back with a number of renowned businesses around Canada, which is a wonderful place to start. A little amount of effort in your price comparison research could end up saving you a lot of money over time. The money you save each month can really mount up over time, especially if you incorporate deal searching into your regular purchasing habit.

Keep an eye on student discounts

Take advantage of the numerous discounts, specials, and special rates that are available to students. Examine whether a student ID or email is a valid method of payment while you’re making a decision about a product or service. Since you’re already paying for school, you might as well benefit financially from it.

Use financial apps

Nowadays, apps are accessible for almost anything, so it stands to reason that there are a ton of personal finance applications available to assist you in maintaining a strict budget by keeping track of your spending. Utilize apps like Mint to keep tabs on your overall spending in relation to your income. Or you could use KOHO, which has a RoundUp feature that saves aside spare change to be saved for later and not only offers extensive categorization of your spending habits to more fully track your budgeting. You need a location to begin. Enter your email at the bottom of this post to try our comprehensive budget template!

Take Classes at a Community College

You can save a significant amount of money by enrolling in classes at a community college, whether you’re supplementing your four-year university education and possibly cutting some time off your college career by graduating earlier than scheduled, or attending a local college as a four-year university replacement.

Universities and colleges sometimes enter into arrangements with nearby community institutions to allow for the transfer of credits, according to Sherin. “See what’s offered at the other school if it makes sense for your schedule and your budget.”

Conclusion

As a college student, you may not have a lot of extra money laying around. You might think that now is not a good time to start putting money away. But the truth is, there’s never really a bad time to try and save some cash for the future. Take the steps above to start saving now, whether it’s for a fun activity in college or for your retirement down the road.

In the end, it’ll depend on your financial goals, and how much money you can responsibly save each month. But if you have student debt already, then it all boils down to how much money you’ll need to live below your means. When it comes down to it, saving money as a student is certainly possible with some smart financial choices on your part.

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