How To Save Money For College

Ways to save money for school

Like most students, you'd probably like to know how to save money for college. Rising tuition fees and significant living expenses -- especially if you go to school in a major city -- can add up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time it's all said and done. While student loans and scholarships can get you part of the way, they often aren't enough to cover everything. To save money for school, you're going to need to be proactive.

There are two parts of a successful student financial plan: knowing how to save money for school, and knowing how to save money during college.

Save Money for University

The best way to save money for school is to start thinking ahead early. While you're still in high school, you can get part-time jobs and summer jobs, and save as much as you can. Right now, while you're living at home, your expenses are minimal. If you apply some self-discipline, you can easily save 50 percent or more of what you earn. Over the course of a couple of years, you can build a nice nest egg that will come in handy when you go away to school.

Even if you've left the task of saving money for college until your senior year, you can still use the time you have to generate some significant savings. Work as much as you can, minimize your expenses and pay yourself first every time you get a check.

Save Money in College

The task of saving money during college can be a little harder. Between books and other course materials, food, living expenses and utilities, you may already be forced to give up some of the luxuries you're used to just to get by. Here are some tips you can use to save money during college that can help stretch your dollars as far as possible:

  • Do not use credit for non-academic expenditures.
  • Buy used textbooks instead of new ones.
  • Skip that spring break trip, or plan a spring break excursion locally.
  • Minimize unnecessary expenditures; create a budget for luxuries like going out, and stick to it.

Most of all, focus on your studies. Go to class, do your assignments and get involved in campus life. This will occupy a good portion of your time -- leaving you with little left over in which to spend money unnecessarily.

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