How to save money in college

The start of college also marks a significant transition into adulthood, which includes learning to manage personal finances responsibly. Building good financial habits during college can set the stage for a secure and successful financial future. Let’s take a look at some tips that can help you navigate your finances successfully throughout your college years.

Create a budget

Living with a budget is essential for financial wellness.

First, track your income, including all earnings from part-time jobs, scholarships, student loans, and more. Next, list your expenses. This can include tuition fees, textbooks, rent, groceries, transportation, and entertainment. Set a realistic spending amount for each category, and your budget is good to go! Make a real effort to stick to your budget, then review and adjust as necessary. Budgeting helps you prioritize your spending, avoid unnecessary debt, and ensure that you’re living within your means.

Jovia offers a budgeting tool called MX Money Management. Here, you can link all your bank accounts and get a personalized dashboard of your spending habits. This can help you keep track of the areas where you tend to overspend so you can budget better.

Minimize student loan debt

Student loans can be a significant financial burden after graduation. To minimize your debt, explore options such as scholarships, grants, and part-time jobs to help cover educational expenses. Jovia offers a variety of college scholarships that can help with college expenses. You can get ahead on your debt by saving for your student loan payments before you graduate, including setting up automatic monthly transfers from your checking account to your savings account while in college. This way, you’ll be prepared to start paying off your student loan debt as soon as you graduate. And in the future, if you would like to consolidate your loans, Jovia in collaboration with College Ave, offers refinance options. Learn more about the student loan and refinance options available here.

Live frugally

You can have fun while in college, and within your budget, too! First, buy used items whenever possible. This goes for textbooks, sports equipment, and even your college car. Research the item you’re purchasing to ensure it’s in good condition and you can save a ton on the price without compromising on quality. Next, consider pooling some of your expenses with your roommates.

For example, you can split the costs of food items, cleaning supplies, and more. Finally, get used to eating in to generate significant savings. Spring for one or two counter appliances, such as a pizza maker and toaster, and get creative with using them for meal prep. Remember, every dollar saved can go toward your future.

Prioritize essential expenses

Life in college is filled with temptations and social activities, so it’s crucial to prioritize essential expenses. Ensure that your tuition, rent, utilities, and groceries are covered before allocating money for discretionary spending. You’ll also want to set aside a portion of your income each month for savings and emergencies. By establishing these priorities, you can build a strong financial foundation and avoid falling into unnecessary debt. If you find there’s no money left over for just-for-fun expenses, look for ways to boost your income through part-time jobs or by selling some items you no longer use.

Build your credit

College is a great time to get your credit score ready for adult life. A strong credit score is essential for qualifying for large loans, obtaining favorable interest terms on those loans, securing a job, and more. To build credit responsibly, consider getting a secured credit card or becoming an authorized user on a family member’s credit card. Use the card sparingly and make payments on time and in full, each month. This demonstrates responsible credit management and will help you establish a positive credit history.

If you’re just starting to build credit, Jovia’s Visa ® Advantage card is a great card to start with. It has a low introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers, so you can lower your monthly payments and consolidate debt. Learn more about Jovia’s Visa® Advantage card here.

Take advantage of campus resources

College campuses often provide a wealth of resources to help students manage their finances. Take advantage of financial literacy workshops, counseling services, and career centers that are at your college. These resources can provide valuable information on budgeting, saving, investing, and finding internships or job opportunities. Seek guidance from professionals who can offer tailored advice based on your individual circumstances.

Building smart money habits during college can have an impact on your financial health for years to come – maybe even your entire life!

Start your savings off strong!

If you're a student between the ages of 18 - 25 years old, Jovia's Student Savers Account, helps you save more by earning a high-yield APY!

Learn More