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Feb 10, 2017 09:26 AM EST

College life is both an exciting and a challenging experience for many students. This is the time when you have to move away from home and away from your parents. This is the time when you will have to live on your own and make your own decisions for yourself, and manage your own finances.

Budgeting and handling your finances are just a few of the major obstacles you will be facing in college, and it all starts with understanding your own expenses. Whether you are just about to enter college or on your last year to graduation, here are some helpful tips to help you save and keep your finances on track.

Start saving

This is something you may have put off for quite a while but it is about time that you open a college savings account, according to US News. However, it is important to remember that your savings should not be your go-to fund when you run short of your budget.

Invest in your future

It is never too early to invest for your future. As a student, you can use and maximize education and professional resources in your school that can lead to potential job opportunities, according to Fox Business, and these include alumni groups, clubs and organizations.

Increase your contributions

Once you start contributing to your monthly college plan, you can opt to increase the amount you are putting in. Once you see progress and growth of your contributions, it will motivate you to save more.

Save your cash gifts and put them into your savings account

If you receive monetary gifts from your family and friends, put it aside and save it in your bank account. If you can ask for college contributions instead of material gifts, it will be a lot better.

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