Ways to Save Cash In College

By: Rachel Yoshida

Lots of people struggle when they have to pay their way through college, but there are so many creative ways that you can save money every month that you should be able to ease up your financial burden at least a little bit.

Make sure you have both a free checking and savings account. There are lots of ways that the banks will nickel and dime you to death, like using the ATM too much, a monthly account fee (which can be anywhere from $3 to $12 or more every month), overdraft fees, and etcetera. Try to find a checking account that has a non-existent monthly fee and whose other fees are reasonably low.

You should also have a checking account with a bank that will give you free checks. Get as many of them as they allow at one time and since most people are using online bill payments these days, the number of checks you actually need on a day to day basis is going to be low, anyway.

Do your best to keep track of your checking account and credit card purchases. Going over your credit limit on your credit card or overdrawing your checking account will cost you a lot in late fees and overdraft charges if you do it very often. Beware using your debit card if you know you are low on funds in the account it is linked to. It is not likely these days that your debit card will be declined due to insufficient funds. Why? Well, because that is how banks make money: your forgetfulness. Most debit cards nowadays will continue to work even if you are already overdrawn and this is a bad, bad thing. When you are not sure how much money you have in an account, use cash instead.

One thing that you can do to determine just how much money you waste every month is to save all of your receipts. This is a great way to figure out just what you are wasting money on, since most of the time when someone gets the bill for something at the end of the month, they blink at just how much they spent. Hindsight is definitely 20/20 and if you can learn what you really waste money on, you can learn to cut it out the next time around.

If you have a lot of spare change rolling around in your purse or laying around different places in your house, you should roll it up yourself and make sure you avoid using coin counting and rolling machines at grocery stores. Some of these will charge as much as 9% of the amount you put in it to count and roll them for you.

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