Saving money while in college may be a difficult thing to do. You should set a goal to cover your tuition payments at the very least. If you work summers only you should make it a goal to cover your living expenses, as well. If you can only save enough to cover one area, then choose the most expensive one, and only borrow enough to cover the amount that you have planned in your college budget. You should carefully monitor your college spending so you do not end up borrowing as much.
You should set specific savings goals for yourself while in college and working. You should calculate the amount you need to save each month to reach your goal (tuition costs or living expenses). You simply divide the amount you need by the number of months that you have to save it. Then you make sure you transfer that amount into your savings account, and live on what the remainder. You may consider moving home over the summers to save on costs. Even if you can not save the entire amount you need, you will still benefit from saving as much as possible. You can set up an automatic draft to come out the day after each paycheck. This is great if you have direct deposit, because you never see the money, and you will not miss it.
While in college your savings should be fairly liquid. You do not want to put the money in a place where you can not get it. You may want to consider online savings accounts, which offer higher interest rates than local institutions. If you have an excellent part time or full-time job and can meet your basic expenses, and pay for school with no loans, then you may consider really investing. Choosing the right bank accounts for a college student can help you save on fees and other costs. Take the time to choose the accounts that will not charge you any additional fees.
Saving in college isn't just about putting money into a savings account for a specific reason. There is a reason that students are considered poor. Focus on finding ways to lower your costs. You may consider having roommates, living in a cheaper apartment or cutting back on eating out. You can lower your cell phone plan, cut back on cable, or choose to take the bus or walk to most of your destinations. In some areas living off campus, close to the school, may actually save you quite a bit of money. You may forgo the weekly massages or cut back on weekend movies if you need to. You still need to have fun, but it doesn't mean that you need to blow a hundred dollars every weekend. Limit the amount you can spend on fun each month. Another option is to consider taking advantage of scholarships and tuition reimbursement programs offered through your work. Avoiding debt and having school paid for can only work out in your benefit once you graduate.
Saving money while in college often sounds backwards from what most other students are doing when borrowing to pay for school and using credit cards. You may find it difficult to find the motivation to save money. You are only young once, and you just want to have fun. Your parents never seemed to save money or they are helping you out with school. There are a million ways to justify your expenses to yourself. It is hard to cut back your spending habits, and to put money in the bank, but you are going to school to prepare yourself for your future. You can further prepare yourself by establishing good habits now. So whether you cut back a little on your lifestyle or put more money in the bank, you will be better off in the future.