It's June, and the summer has begun, but do you know what is quickly approaching? Next school year. It's scary to think about, but whether you are a recent high school graduate or a non-traditional college student, it's never too soon to start saving. Need some ideas on how to save up and some financial tips for making it through college? We've got you!
First off, we need to figure out how much you need to save for your tuition, textbooks, housing, and meals. Frequently, students do an excellent job of saving, but they don't have a specific plan for their money, and it often gets spent on wants instead of necessities. However, if you can't save up enough for tuition, it can be helpful to pay for your books and housing specifically, which may not be included in your financial aid package.
Second and often, the most critical step, create a budget. If you become a solid budget creator early in life, it will benefit you in college and throughout your life. It not only helps you pay your bills and save, but it often shows you what is truly important to you. Specifically, in college, you need to account for things that often don't make an appearance in your average budget. Also, depending on what institution you attend, costs outside your everyday expenses like parking passes, athletic tickets, and online course fees. Those unexpected fees often can have a significant impact on a budget and can derail it instantly. Therefore, we recommend planning for extra expenses each month to help negate the cost of some of these one-time fees.
You've made it halfway through the first semester, you've just started to get used to living outside of your parent's household, and you are getting close to running out of money. What have you been doing that is challenging your finances? We've heard stories of many nights eating out or too many pre-class coffees. These can be fine in moderation but making it a habit can severely damage your budget. The key to maintaining healthy financial habits is to keep reevaluating your budget and keeping it current as your life changes.
Trying to think of ways to save? We've got an idea for you! Do you ever spend $1.50 on a pop? Where is that 50 cents, in a drawer, couch cushions, or in the dryer? We have a feature on our accounts called "Save Your Change" that rounds each dollar and deposits it into your savings account. If you haven't tried this method of saving, you need to. It is a wonderful way to save without having to deposit into your savings consciously.
Are you a diligent or aspiring saver? Savings accounts are one of our specialties. Head into your local P1FCU or visit us at p1fcu.org to learn more about how we can help you through the saving process.