It’s time for yellow school buses, uniforms, and backpacks stuffed full with books, notebooks, and folders: class is back in session. The spending habits and financial needs of children and young adults change drastically during the school year; depending on what grade the student is in, they could need money for expenses that they generally don’t have during the summer, such as: tuition, school uniforms, field trips, sports teams, or something as simple as lunch every day.
While parents shoulder the responsibility for many of these expenses, it doesn’t mean students can’t be a little bit more fiscally responsible during the school year to chip in. Here are some tips for students to help them save money for the things that they need during the school year.
Open a savings account
Instead of keeping your money at home, open a savings account. You’re less likely to spend the money you save if it’s in a bank instead of a jar on top of your dresser.
Keep in mind that not all savings accounts are the same. They have different fees, restrictions, required opening balances, and interest rates, so be sure to research different options to find the one that’s best for you.
Create a budget
Students of any age can benefit from a budget. Even if you don’t make a lot of money, a budget will help you manage what money you do have. Make a plan for your money and save!
Save a little bit of everything
Do you get an allowance? Save some of that. Get money for a birthday or holiday? Save some of that too. Do you work? Put some of your paycheck into savings. Treat any source of income as an opportunity to save.
Plan less expensive activities
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. Want to watch a movie with your friends? Rent something instead of going to the theater. Instead of going out to eat, make a meal together at home – working together and making a meal from scratch is not only cheaper but can be a lot of fun, too.
Stay away from places you are tempted to spend
Malls, restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops: these are popular places for students to hang out but they are also places where it is easy to spend money. If you need to get out of the house or the dorm, try going to a park or library, or any other place that won’t encourage you to spend money on things you don’t need.