‘Savings money’ for college students


Photo from Canva by Niomi Nunez

Saving money on a tight budget can be challenging as a college student, but it doesn’t have to be.

Niomi Nunez, Features & Lifestyle Editor

Saving money as a college student is like trying to hold sand with your hand—it just slips through your fingers. There is always some new expense or reckless behavior taunting your savings account.  

There is nothing remotely cheap about being a college student. For many people, college is your parents pushing you into a world of independence in which there are no financial ropes to hold onto. The expenses continue piling up as you try to navigate the ever-changing economy, and the thought of saving money seems like a fantasy.  

Saving money doesn’t have to be that difficult. Of course, the components of saving money are dependent on a person’s financial situation. Regardless of specifics, saving money is all about planning and being responsible. This means you will have to be thoughtful in your spending and take on the responsibilities of acquiring and budgeting money. It sounds hard, but really isn’t. Most students learning financial independence just don’t know where to begin. 

Obviously, to save money you need to have some type of income. In other words, you need to have a job. It will be nearly impossible to save money if you don’t have a job, unless you are receiving money from elsewhere. Regardless of where you are getting this money, and no matter the amount, there is always a bit of it that you can save. Maybe promise yourself to save a specific percentage of money from every paycheck or other form of allowance. Just hold yourself accountable and be consistent.  

Opening a savings account with your bank is probably the smartest thing to do when trying to save money. Separating your spending money from your savings will not only help your budgeting, but it will also show your progress. Seeing your savings account grow with every dollar is motivating. There are some services that allow you to set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account every time you get paid, so you don’t have to be worried about transferring the money yourself. 

Planning and budgeting the money you earn plays a huge role in saving. You should identify your priorities and set aside an allotted amount of money for every activity requiring you to spend money. Try to minimize your spending by cutting out certain unnecessary expenses, like subscriptions you don’t use and your regular trips to an expensive café. You will have to spend money on priorities like school, food, laundry, etc., but knowing the exact amount will keep you from overspending.  

Saving money means nothing if you are just going to spend it recklessly. Reckless spending is a common behavior of college students, because of this mentality of doing “whatever” with the money they’ve made. It is fair to think this—you’ve worked so hard to make this money, therefore you can spend it on whatever, wherever. However, just because you have money, does not mean you need to spend it. There will be a point in your life where you will really need that money, and if you spent it all on coffees and Uber rides, you’re going to wish you hadn’t. Try being less impulsive and think twice about how you are spending your well-earned money.  

Saving money takes discipline and will not be a smooth uphill—there will be bumps in the road and times when you will have to spend more money than you will have wanted. Yet, in time and with consistency, your hard work will pay off.