7 Tips on Good Money Habits for Students That You Should Know

College is a great time to learn how to manage your finances and build good money habits for students that will help set the stage for financial success for the rest of your life. By being clearer about your spending and savings habits, you can work toward bigger goals, like paying off student loan debt, traveling, and saving for future accomplishments like moving to a new city after college.

While the main focus is on good money habits for students, of course, getting a quality education, colleges also provide a great opportunity to develop the money skills you'll need once you graduate. 

You need to start making smart choices about your money now to build a solid financial foundation for the future. That means building your financial literacy foundation from now on.

Too many students graduate in red and face tough financial choices when they are just starting out.

If you want to be on the right track and make sure you leave college in good financial shape, read on to learn 7 tips for good money habits for students.

good money habits for students

7 Good Money Habits For Students

1. Open a Savings Account

good money habits for students

A lot of people struggle with this, so it's important that you start developing good money habits for students early on. It's tempting to spend your money first and then save whatever is left, but you'll end up limiting how much you save this way. 

Instead, pay your bills first, donate them to your savings, and then use a little for yourself.

In the words of Warren Buffet, "Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving."

Now that your budget is available, you can identify areas where you might be able to spend less and save on your long-term goals. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Consider switching to a cheaper meal plan if you regularly have money left in your account.
  • Rent or buy used textbooks instead of new editions at the bookstore. Your college may offer other, less expensive options for course materials as well.
  • If you need new technology for the classroom, try an updated model, not a new one.
  • Consider walking, riding a bicycle, or using campus transportation instead of paying for gas, insurance, and parking the car during your college years.

Like many things in life, budgeting and saving are skills that take time and practice to get right. If you frequently make mistakes or go over budget, don't worry. 

You can make adjustments to get back on track. Stay focused on building healthy financial habits that will help you for years to come!

2. Create an Emergency Fund

good money habits for students

Having a financial safety net is an important part of being independent. To prepare for emergencies and avoid unexpected debt, making it a habit to always set aside a portion of your salary -10% is a good benchmark—a mental trick that makes it easier to save.

Make an effort to save an emergency fund. Whether it's an important car repair, a pet illness, or something bigger, everyone needs a little dime saved up when big variable costs come up, which they sure do. Relying solely on credit to get you through an emergency will incur interest and fees.

If you're working to pay off debt, start saving a small fortune with around $1,000. Once you pay off your debt and start making more money, you can increase your emergency fund.

One easy way to save is to automatically eject. If the money remains in your checking account, it will be more tempting to spend it. 

When your brain is trained to expect smaller amounts in your account, you will automatically limit yourself to that budget.

Along with that, saving for big purchases can be a fun way to develop discipline in spending. It is also one of the good money habits for students.

3. Start Investing Now

what are good habits for students

The sooner you start investing, the more time you will have to build interest. You should also invest less money to reach your retirement goals if you start at an early age.

Investing is much simpler than you think. You can open an account online with a minimal amount of money and schedule a withdrawal from your bank account to your investment account every month. 

Whether it's opening an IRA or investing in the S&P 500, do your research before deciding. Maybe you can also invest in penny stocks for under 1 dollar.

4. Get a Part-time Job

good money habits for students

There are many advantages to working while studying. Look great when you start applying for jobs, especially if you can find work in your field. Finding a good college job will make it easier for you to manage your money and gain work experience while at school. 

You may even benefit from tuition assistance and other employee benefits offered by your company. Plus, the more money you spend on college, the less you'll have to borrow, which will save you in the long run.

If you choose to work only during the summer, make the most of your summer job. Consider taking extra shifts to save a little extra. You might also take an internship—if it's paid for, you'll be combining income with real-world experience as a step towards creating good money habits for students like you.

You may choose to work full time and go to school part-time to avoid debt. Despite creating a very tight schedule, this work experience can help you as you plan your transition from school to work.

5. Cook On a Budget

good money habits for students

A good money habit for students is to create a food budget as a fact of life for adults. No matter who you are, you have to eat and eat regularly. 

But there are also many different ways to feed yourself and the decisions you make have a huge impact on your bottom line.

Learning how to cook on a budget is an art and skill you can rely on for the rest of your life. Figuring out how to make the food you love to eat that doesn't break a bank is a balancing act that can also be an enjoyable experience at the same time.

If you incorporate a few simple and delicious dinner recipes into your cooking arsenal, you will find it much easier to save money in the future by gathering cheap meals at home instead of relying on expensive take-out or unhealthy fast food. for a quick bite at the end of the day.

Check out food blogs to sift through recipes and watch how-to videos. You can also find some classic videos on YouTube or your favorite platform.

6. Set a Budget

good money habits for students

Learning how to budget and set financial goals as a student is essential to managing good money habits for students including me. 

The idea of ​​charting a budget may seem overwhelming at first - Who has the energy to sit down and plan the best points of their financial situation after a long day of classes, exams, and other obligations? - but it's actually quite easy to do.

A college budget is a very powerful tool in personal finance. When you create a budget and track your spending habits, you have insight into where your monthly income is going and where you need to cut back. 

Living on a budget doesn't mean you can never have fun, it just means the fun you have won't keep you from paying the bills.

Take some time to think about all the living expenses you are responsible for each month. Start with basic tuition - tuition, room, and board (or rent and utilities, if you live off-campus), textbooks and classroom supplies, telephone, car, and insurance payments (or public transport costs), haircuts, supplies showers, and, of course, food. When you have a plan for the money you have, you can rest easy knowing your priorities are covered.

Having your own student budget to balance your monthly expenses and knowing how you impact them is one of the best ways to learn good financial habits.

7. Test Financial Planning Apps and Resources

good money habits for students

There's more to managing money on your phone than just your bank app. Today, there are tons of different budgeting websites like Mint and You Need A Budget that helps frame your finances in a way that makes it easier to save.

Try a few and just see how it works. They may not be what you want to use in the long run, but understanding how each app works can help you sort through the different techniques for managing your money to find the best one for you, it can also be part of good money habits for students.

When it comes to financial literacy, your work is never done. Like everything else in the world, the world of money is constantly evolving and undergoing rebranding.

The tools and knowledge you have developed may be sufficient by now, but you never know what financial challenges and opportunities lie ahead.

Find reputable media outlets like Forbes, Bloomberg, The Balance, or The Motley Fool, whose advice you trust, and follow them on social media or subscribe to their newsletter.

Success doesn't happen overnight, so keep doing this habit every day. As a student, you may not have much extra money now. 

But making smart decisions about how to pay for college can help you save more of your hard-earned money after graduation. 

That's our review of good money habits for students. If you follow these 8 tips, you will be able to create a healthy balance and a solid financial foundation for the future.

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