February 12, 2019 By College Ave Student Loans

5-Step Money Saving Plan for College Students

Building a savings plan while in school might seem challenging, but with tried and true methods you’ll be able to make the most of your budget.

Below are some simple steps you can start now to set yourself on the right path toward financial confidence and stability. As you get started remember, it’s all about your mindset!

1. Understand Your Cash Flow

Knowing how much income and expenses you have is something most people overlook. The first step to establishing a strong plan is awareness. How much income do you have on a monthly basis? How much money do you have saved up already? Then subtract that from recurring and expected expenses throughout the school year. This will give you a better idea of your budget and what you can afford to save.

2. Cut the Fat

While evaluating your budget, you’ll notice some areas where you can afford to cut down. Dining out is by far one of the most popular categories college students can adjust. But don’t panic–you don’t need to cut out all the fat just yet. Start by following general patterns that set you up for saving: Like packing snacks to eat throughout the day and buying your own coffee pot to skip the coffee shop line. College campuses offer tons of affordable resources for students: take advantage and get creative with your cost cutting.

3. Set Up Automatic Savings

Establishing automatic deposits into your savings account is a quick way to jumpstart your money saving plan. Most banks provide this feature online–just choose an amount and frequency and set the duration for your savings plan. You’ll be surprised to find how little you notice those changes. We suggest starting small: Start with transferring just $5-$10 a week (or whatever you feel most comfortable with) and let it go for a few months without touching it.

4. Develop Healthy Money Habits

Building a solid money saving plan as a student takes more than just spreadsheets and meal prepping. When you commit to building your savings, you must reshape your frame of mind. When you equate saving money with greater responsibility and freedom, it helps put those smaller, more annoying choices into context. As soon as you start to see a home cooked meal and borrowed textbooks as small steps toward a rewarding and stable future, it gets easier to cut the fat. Just like any huge goal, you’ll soon find that each choice you make means there’s a new opportunity for little improvements.

5. Refine Your Savings Goals

Revisions are key to strong, long-lasting goals. Especially when it comes to budgets, you need to explore different techniques to find the right fit. Financial advisors will tell you that the actual number is less important than the mindset you create for yourself. Saving money is a lifelong challenge, and you have to stay flexible enough to make it fit your life. As a student, just remember that you should put just as much thought into how you save your money as you do on where to spend it.

For more money-saving tips, check out 10 Money-Saving Hacks Your Piggy Bank Will Thank You For and Creative Ways to Save Money in College.