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Sep 21, 2016 08:09 AM EDT

Managing Your Finances in College: Money Saving Tips for Students


For some students, getting into universities already caused financial restraints this is why it's important that they learn to handle their finances well early on. This will help them stretch their money and make sure they don't end up deep in student debt before they start their careers.

Be frugal and wise. Penny pinching is important but make sure you're saving money in the right places without losing more. Take buying used books as an example. If you have to drive a 30 minutes or so, did you save more than how much the gas cost and could you have done something more productive?

It may seem a lot to consider but once you have trained your mind to ask these simple questions and evaluating not just the cost of money and the percentage but the value of your time, then it would be easier to decide.

Israeli economist Ofer Azar attempts to explain consumer's decision making behavior with his relative thinking theory which states that, "claims that people consider relative differences and not only absolute differences when making various economics decisions, even in those cases where the rational model dictates that people should consider only absolute differences."

When Azar asked American consumers, "Do Consumers Make Too Much Effort to Save on Cheap Items and Too Little to Save on Expensive Items?" A majority of his respondents said yes.

In short, students need to think in absolute terms when it comes to spending their money and be objective in their expenses. Here are some simple tips to help students make the more out of their money while in college:

  1. Shop smart. Visit dollar stores and thrift or second hand shops for your needs. From clothes, notebooks and even stuff you need to decorate your dorm, you can find them all in these places.

  2. Use university resources. When doing your research or looking for materials and books you need for class, exhaust resources available in the school from library books and printed materials as well as online and digital ones.

  3. Find jobs near school. No way to save better that to find a job to get some extra cash, get work experience and make the most of your time.

  4. Check your caffeine. Signature coffee costs more than your regular cup. When it's really not necessary, then cut back from buying those fancy frappes and espressos.

  5. Do your own cooking. Also think about how much you are spending on food. If you have a dedicated cooking space in your dorm, then might as well cook your meals.

  6. Evaluate entertainment. Most young people tend to overlook how much they spend on getting entertained. If it goes unchecked it can be draining a big chunk of your bank account.

  7. Be responsible. Pay bills on time to avoid late fees and other charges and buy only what's necessary when necessary.

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