It’s no secret that many college students lack financial savings. It’s actually a very well-known fact. All stereotypes aside, however, there are ways for college students to effectively make and save their money.
Sophomore Sarah Davis faces the reality of student debt head-on, but she doesn’t let it deter her from making smart financial moves. Davis works at Ginger Sues, a breakfast restaurant, and works as an assistant to the owner of the Etsy shop, MeY Decals.
“Debt makes me sad, but it’s literally impossible to go to school and have time for homework without pulling out loans, especially if your parents aren’t helping [you] pay for other expenses,” said Davis. “I try to record my income every day and how much I spend. When I get paid, I separate [my paycheck] into three categories: spending, saving and travel because I’m addicted to vacations.”
While being a student can easily take up someone’s entire agenda, it’s common for students to have part-time jobs throughout the school year and gigs in the summer as well. Between the cost of classes themselves, housing expenses, gas money, monthly bills and any spare change they can scrounge up for spending money, college students are faced with hefty debt and little time during the school year to save money to pay it off.
Utilizing a savings account has proven beneficial for freshman Julia Nolke, who works at the Hy-Vee floral shop and drives for Doordash occasionally.
“I put most of my paycheck into my savings account,” said Nolke. “I leave myself as much money needed to get gas, pay for dinner on late nights and a little bit for entertainment money. If I don’t use it by the next pay period, then I move it to savings. It helps me pay for things that I may not have thought I would need. For example, if I didn’t have money in my savings account, then I wouldn’t have been able to buy my books that cost me $500.”
Searching ‘money saving’ in the app store brings up a long list of apps offering services from coupon finding to daily budget tracking. These apps provide tips and tricks for saving money and are as accessible as it gets.
Sophomore Krithika Selvarajoo uses the Intuit app called ‘Mint.’
“I use the Mint app on my phone to keep track of my expenses,” said Selvarajoo. “It allows me to spend more money on coffee. I can basically set limits on my budgets and even get notifications when I spend over budget.”
Combatting the expense of college will remain a challenging task for students, but staying on top of budgeting and maintaining a steady savings regimen can ease the burden of debt.
“Start saving [your money] immediately,” said Davis. “Like today, immediately. The sooner the better, and it’s hard to start, so you just have to force yourself. You’ll thank yourself later if you stay strict about your spending.”