We’ve all heard the term “broke college kid” once or twice in our lives, and attending school without a full-time job certainly justifies why it can be difficult to grow your savings. Whether you’re currently enrolled in classes or preparing to leave the nest, achieving financial stability is probably on your mind.
Sustainable saving, spending, and budgeting habits are all a learning game, but it certainly helps to have the financial tools necessary to put away as much money as possible for your future. Learn more about organizing your finances for the school year with savings accounts for college students and a few budgeting practices.
Start an Emergency Fund
If you’ve found yourself transferring from a main savings account to your checking far too often, it might be time to set up an emergency and/or rainy day fund. While it can be tempting to view your savings as easily accessible cash, the ultimate goal is to watch it grow without needing to extract funds.
With a second basic savings account, you can focus on saving for the long haul and saving for any future emergencies that may arise. Examples of reasons as to why you may need to extract from this fund could include anything from an unexpected need for a new laptop to a medical bill.
Or you could even start contributing a rainy day fund — never a bad idea to have some extra cash to finally take that backpacking trip between semesters!
Automate Your Transfers
At Discovery FCU, we like to say, “A little grows a long way.” And this couldn’t be more applicable to the budgeting method of scheduling automated transfers from your checking to savings. Make saving a part of your routine by dedicating a certain amount of cash to your savings account weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even every other month. No number is too small!
Compare it to those automated payments extracted from your checking account each month for utilities, memberships, etc. While a careful review of your spending habits is essential, sometimes you don’t even realize that you’ve been charged until weeks later. There’s nothing more rewarding than checking up on your savings account and realizing that it’s growing automatically. Plus, you can always adjust your transfers based on your evolving financial needs.
Clean Up Your Budget
Summer internships and gigs in between semesters are a great way to gain experience and pick up some extra cash before class is in session. Many students even opt for part-time jobs during the year if they can swing it. But let’s face it — attending college is a full-time job. Which brings us to the question, how can you contribute to savings if you have little to no income?
Start by re-thinking your budget. Without a stable source of income, it can be frustrating to feel like all you’re doing is losing money throughout the year. However, a quick peek at how you can cut back on weekly spending can save you a lot over time — replenishing your checking and savings accounts with cash you may not have realized you had.
Minor lifestyle changes like choosing to make coffee at home instead of purchasing it or canceling that streaming service you never use will allow you to attribute those extras to where you need them most — your savings account.
Review Your Accounts Frequently
Now that you’ve automated your transfers to savings and tidied up your budget, the monetary gain in your accounts has probably encouraged you to keep it up! There’s no shame in getting just a little bit competitive with yourself when it comes to finances. Think, “What can I do next month to put away the same amount, if not more?”
Keeping a regular eye on your checking and savings accounts is the best way to monitor your progress. And if an overspend or two happens after finally acing that chemistry course — no worries. You’ve now got the tools you need to get back on track to savings growth next month. With digital banking from Discovery FCU, you never have to wonder about the status of your spending. Monitor accounts online or from our mobile banking app with just a click of a button.
Prepare for next semester with a financial institution that has your back. Open a savings account with Discovery FCU today!