Before we know it, school will be back in session and high school graduates will be heading to college. Whether you have a year or two of college experience under your belt or are new to campus, learning how to save money is extremely important at this stage of life. Make the most of your financial situation by following the helpful college savings tips below.

1. Explore different housing options.

One of the best choices you can make as a college student is to spend less money on rent if possible, even if it means living in a not-so-great house or apartment. Embrace the college life and make the most of what you have. Plus, if you find roommates who double as your friends, your college apartment will feel like home regardless of how nice it is. Remember that your living situation is temporary and the cheaper rent will be well worth it!

2. Use your meal plan or make your own meals.

Make your meal plan worth the money! While you want to make memories and treat yourself every so often, don’t make going out to eat a habit. If you live off campus and don’t have a meal plan, there are tons of cheap but delicious meals you can make at home. If you need some inspiration, check out these 30 Easy Recipes for College Students.

3. Check out what your campus has to offer.

Don’t underestimate all of the amenities included in your tuition. For example, rather than paying for a monthly gym membership, work out at your campus fitness center. Most colleges offer lots of clubs and classes if you’re interested in yoga, Pilates, basketball, cycling, dancing, rock climbing, volleyball and more.

4. Choose your bank wisely.

Did you know there are checking and savings accounts designed specifically for college students? You can experience benefits like no minimum balance requirement and lower fees. Plus, make sure you take advantage of online and mobile banking services so you can check your balance regularly, deposit checks from home and more.

5. Split subscriptions and purchases with your roommates.

First, try to trim down the number of subscriptions you have as those monthly payments can add up fast. If you decide you want Netflix, for example, consider splitting the subscription between your roommates so you can all share and lower the cost. This is also possible for things like toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish soap and bigger move-in purchases like furniture or a TV. Splitting these things rather than buying them all on your own can save you hundreds.

6. Take more classes so you can graduate on time or early.

Depending on your degree and its requirements, it’s possible to graduate a semester or two early. While you’ll be a little busier than normal, if you take an extra class every semester or take summer classes, you can save lots of money. Even one additional semester is a big expense!

Moving out of the house and paying for things you normally didn’t pay for can be quite a change, so make sure you’re prepared. If you learn how to save money and make smart financial choices, it's possible to avoid the far-too-common broke college student life. To learn more about our financial services, visit our website or contact us!