Back-to-school season is upon us, and as you are heading back to school, don’t let budgeting slip your mind! As you try to balance your heavy workload, studying, and spending time with your friends, budgeting your finances in college can be a challenge. To make budgeting easier, we have shared 10 budgeting tips for college students for financial success. Let’s jump right in! 

1. Utilize Student Discounts

  • As a student, there are many discounts available for you to utilize, you just have to find them. Usually, you will need to use your student ID or student email to verify that you are currently enrolled as a student to receive the student discount

2. Create A Budget

  • It will be helpful to create a budget before you get to campus. Figure out what income you will have, whether that be a job, financial aid, or scholarships and grants, you will want to plan out your income and create a budget from there. You can even use a budgeting app to make budgeting easier.

3. Save On Books 

  • Textbooks can be very expensive, but you can spend less renting or buying used books instead of purchasing new ones. You can start at your campus bookstore and then check out online sources to compare and find the best price. 

4. Let Your Bank Help You 

  • Choosing the right bank throughout your college years is crucial to financial success as a college student. College students can receive many different benefits such as lower monthly fees and no minimum balances. At American State Bank, we provide checking and savings accounts as well as online banking services that will help you stay on track with your finances throughout the school year and beyond. 

5. Find Free Activities 

  • College campuses are full of free activities and events that you can attend as a student. Finding these free activities will help you save money and stick to your budget throughout the school year. Many campuses offer free fitness classes, concerts, movie nights, and more.

6. Save on Food

  • If you have a meal plan, make the most of it to save money on food. If you don’t plan on having a meal plan, try to budget out your groceries and avoid eating out often. Make a grocery list before shopping, and only buy what you need to avoid overspending. 

7. Use Cash 

  • When you are hanging out with your friends at social events or just having dinner, it will be helpful to only use cash. This will help you know how much you can spend and will help prevent any overspending. 

8. Split Funds with Roommates

  • Split costs like bills, groceries, toiletries, and subscriptions with your roommates to help you spend less and stay on budget.

9. Create Financial Goals

  • Sticking to your budget can get difficult throughout college, writing out your short-term and long-term financial goals will help remind you of why you're budgeting and will help you stay on track. 

10. Encourage Your Friends to Find Budget-Friendly Activities

  • Saying “no” to an invitation to hang out with friends is never fun. Sometimes you might have to say no and miss out on a few things to stay on your budget. Try encouraging your friends to choose budget-friendly activities around campus to prevent you from having to say no all the time. This will help you stick to your budget, and you and your friends might even find a new hobby or activity that you all enjoy. 

Staying on track with your budget and finances throughout college is possible and can be done easily with these helpful budgeting tips! If you have any questions about our available financial services, contact us or visit our website for more information!