We all know by now that college is expensive. With books, club fees, weekends out and rent, it can feel like your bank account is constantly draining. Some savings plans sound great when you start, but a few weeks in, you realize that it just doesn't fit with your minimum wage campus job. Here are six ways to save money as a college student that you can actually use to build your bank account.
1. The 52 Week Plan
I personally love this saving method and am on week six currently. Put simply, this savings plan has you save the dollar amount for the number week you are on. Starting on week one, you save $1. Week two, you save $2, week three, you save $3 and so on. In a year, you will have saved $1,378! This savings plan is practical for any college student with a job who wants to secure a decent amount in their savings.
2. The Round-Up Rule
Regardless of your current employment position, this savings method is definitely doable. And you don't even have to think about it thanks to an app called Qapital! This app has actually changed the way I save money. Qapital links securely to your bank account and debit card to round-up every purchase you make to the next $1, $2, or $3. It then deposits this money into your Qapital account so you can save money without the temptation to spend it immediately. Transferring your money back over when you need it is so easy as well. You can name and set goals for your account so you are constantly reminded of what you are working towards. You can also link the 52-week rule from above to this account! Using my referral link, you can get an extra $5 bonus from Qapital after you make your first deposit of any amount. Access the link here.
3. Pack the snack.
With a Starbucks on every corner and cute restaurants all around your college town, it can be so tempting to pull out your wallet to buy food that isn't from a dining hall. Reward yourself every time you resist the urge to buy SkinnyPop or a Frappuccino, by saving the money you would have spent on it. So if a bag of chips would have cost you $1.50, put that money into a jar or your savings account instead. It's amazing how much you save when you use the meal plan you have instead of making random small purchases on food.
4. Pretty Pennies
This is probably the easiest savings plan on the list. It is similar to the 52 week plan but with pennies. This one is done by the day, however. On day one, you save one penny, day two you save two pennies, and so on. The maximum amount you would have to save on one day would be $3.66. And obviously, they don't have to all be pennies; The dollar amount is what is important. At the end of one year, you will have saved $667.95 just from spare change!
5. Fine Dimes
If you use physical cash a lot, this is a great plan for you. Every time you make a purchase, take any dimes you receive in change and put them into a two-liter bottle. On average, a full two-liter bottle of dimes will hold between $350-$500. When its full, take it to your bank or somewhere else with a change converter, and get those Benjamins. Small coins make a big difference.
6. Split the gift.
Ah yes, we all love those unexpected envelopes from family members in our mailbox with some extra cash inside. While it can be so easy to blow it all right away on a night out or a new pair of jeans, try this compromise instead: Every time you receive money from a friend or relative, take 50 percent and deposit it into your savings and keep 50 percent for yourself as extra spending cash. You and your bank account will both be happy this way.
7. The 12 Month Challenge
For those students working this fall, you can start a regular savings routine with this rule of 25s. This monthly plan never makes you save more than $150 in a given month, and in a year, you can save $1,050. You can also start whenever you want using the chart above. This is a great plan for those who are beginning to save regularly and want a more set routine.
Money is often a big source of stress for college students. Having a secure source of savings can bring a sense of security and comfort. Whether you work 20 hours a week or just get money from mom and dad right now, learning to save money is an essential skill to learn before joining the adult world.
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