Saving for College
Get tips to help you save money for college
Living on a budget and saving money for a major life goal, like saving for college, might not always seem like fun. On the other hand, since both tasks are essential to success throughout life, what better time to learn than when preparing for a college career? There may be no more crucial gateway to adult independence than learning how to properly handle one's finances. Budgeting for college is the best time to develop good financial habits for the rest of your life.
That independence will be achieved through having the discipline to establish, and stick to, a personal budget to save money for college. This is just as true for parents saving for their child's education as it is for students themselves. A budget will help you balance your income and control your spending. Seeing all the numbers in black and white will help you understand where your money is going. And if there's an imbalance in your income to spend ratio, your budget might just silently encourage you toward considering a part-time job. Part-time employment is also a great resume builder, or you should consider maximizing earning potential during the summer.
Helpful money saving tips for college to consider:
It pays to keep close track, in writing, of every expense, so you can see where your money is going, and which areas you can most comfortably cut back on.
If you live alone, it pays to consider having roommates to split the rent and other living expenses.
If you have both a cell phone and a land line, cancel one of them.
If you have a car, take care of it with frequent service checks. Pay special attention to changing the oil. Better yet, use your bike wherever possible.
Limit your spending on credit. If you must have a card for convenience sake, make it a debit card, or charge what you can afford to pay off in full each month.
Get used to generally living a frugal life, and embrace it. Save the luxuries for when you're earning a full-time living.
It's not a bad idea to draw up a budget worksheet or if you prefer, you can use budgeting software.
The trick of budgeting for college, naturally, is to balance the expenses with the income. Don't spend what you don't have. And while you're in school, stay away from buying anything on credit. Remember: just a few months after you complete your schooling, you'll have to begin repaying your student loans—yet another instance of when good budgeting skills will come in handy. The time to begin preparing for those repayment obligations is now—so take advantage of our student savings tips.
Learn more about flexible student banking options
At Charter One, we want to take the stress out of managing your money with student bank accounts that fit the needs of busy students, like you. For your student borrowing needs, we offer an affordable Charter One TruFit Student Loan™ to help pay for your college expenses. If you still have questions, just call a student loan specialist, at 1-800-721-3969, and they'll help walk you through the process.