savingCollege students aren’t just graduating with burdensome student loan debts, but credit card debt as well. While not every college student will rack up thousands in a  matter of a few short years, nearly all could use a little life lesson in money management. Here are some savvy spending and saving tips for college students:

Keep the change — if you break a bill, save the change. Keep it in a jar and turn it into the bank at the end of the semester to add to your savings account

Cash is king — whenever you can buy something in cash over credit, do so.  Even just a simple $10 meal at a restaurant can add up on your credit card when it happens too often or sits too long with added interested.

Need vs. wants — prioritize your purchases in terms of a need versus a want. If you don’t actually need it for school or work, skip it.

Don’t sweat it — sometimes we get off track or spend to much. Don’t freak out, instead get back on track next week with a tighter spending budget.

Of course, these are just a few money management strategies to get you on the right track. It is also important to have an actual budget that outlines exactly what income you have coming in and what essential living expenses you have going out. And don’t underestimate the power of balancing your register. Even if you don’t use a checkbook, have a spreadsheet that tracks all of your purchases and helps you stay within your income range each month.

Further, take some quick courses on finance. Credit counseling agencies offer cheap courses on using credit wisely and retirement planning. It’s never too early to save for retirement or too late to keep yourself in a good credit standing by using it appropriately.

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