A college education can come with a lot of firsts: first time away from home, first time experiencing the freedom to make your own decisions, and the first time managing and saving your own money. You’re probably thinking saving for a rainy day in college is easier said than done. Not so fast. Learn how managing your money in college, even by saving a little at a time, can really add up.

First things first. Your student ID is the key to steep discounts and valuable coupons, which means more cash in your pocket, where it belongs. Many retailers across industries, including dining, entertainment, electronics, apparel, and utility providers, offer student discounts. Simply ask about the discounts offered and present your ID at these establishments to enjoy the benefits.

Another great way to save money as a college student is to take full advantage of the free amenities your school has to offer. This can be anything from job placement and career guidance, to the library and the gym, even simple medical check-ups and mental health counseling are valuable, no-cost services at your disposal.

Determine a weekly savings goal that is manageable for your individual budget. Whatever your weekly goal is, be consistent, make weekly deposits into your savings account and watch your money grow. You can even set-up automatic transfers to take the work out of it for you.

Enjoying The College Experience while Managing Your Money

Did you know?

Jovia offers an annual scholarship program for college and community college students.

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Education first.

After all, college is about learning. Attend your classes, pass your classes and graduate on time. Making up credits is costly and can derail your college savings plan. Apply for grants, scholarships, and financial aid every year, since qualification and eligibility requirements change annually. Jovia offers an annual scholarship program for college and community college students. Purchase used textbooks or share with a classmate and sell them when you’re done.

Bank accounts.

Look for checking and saving accounts with no fees and low minimums (we can help with that!). To help meet your weekly savings goal, download and enroll in one of the free savings apps on your mobile device specifically designed to help you save. These apps round up your credit or debit card purchases to the next full dollar and automatically add the change to a savings account of your choice.

Eliminate excess spending.

Separate your wants from your needs and eliminate, or limit, the wants (don’t worry, it’s only temporary). Even small purchases, like that daily coffee habit, can impact your weekly budget (up to $30 a week in some coffee houses). The money you save from brewing at home could help you meet or exceed your weekly savings goal.

Food is a necessity.

Shop for groceries with a list and review the stores weekly circular. Buy what’s on sale and consider purchasing the generic brand of the same items which can save you big time.

Sharing is caring.

Before buying high priced furnishings or electronics for your dorm or off campus house, decide which items each roommate will contribute. No one wants to wind up with three microwaves and no television. If you have more than one appliance that’s not in use, rent it out or sell it, and collect the cash.

Entertainment.

Consider sharing streaming, gaming, and wireless subscriptions with roommates or family members to lower costs.

Get a job.

Seek employment opportunities using your school’s career resource center or on your own. It’s ok if the job is not in your field of choice, this is an opportunity to learn something new, gain valuable employment experience, and, most importantly, earn a paycheck.

Start your own business.

Tap into your skill set and provide services on and off campus. Whether you offer tutoring, technology repairs or you know your way around a car, these service gigs can earn you cash.

Turn unwanted items into cash.

Clean, sort, and organize items you no longer want, use, need, or even knew you had. Many free apps make it easy to sell your lightly used electronics, sporting equipment, clothes, and more.

Credit cards.

As a general rule, only spend what you can comfortably afford. Pay the balance in full each month and avoid making late payments or missing payments, which can have penalties and a long-term, negative effect on your credit score. Credit cards should be used for small purchases that you can pay off at the end of each month or for emergencies. Choose a no fee credit card that offers cash back or rewards that can be redeemed for gift cards or items you need.

Your Future Begins with Managing Your Money Now

Establishing healthy financial habits early on can provide lifelong benefits for you and your wallet. Start managing your money while you’re still in college; your future self will thank you at graduation.