Good Morning Green Panda Readers.  The weather has made it official; fall is on its way.  With the rain, the drop in temperature, and the brisk winds it is safe to say that fall is upon us.  Soon the leaves will change colours and college students all across this great country will be carrying their books to class and drinking pots of coffee to stay awake during exams.


Personal Finance for Students

Saving Money in College can be very difficult because many people can barely Earn Enough Money to pay rent and afford to eat three healthy meals a day.  Between the cost of tuition, books, and supplies I had to live on a very fixed budget in order to afford living on my own during college.  I definitely made my share of financial mistakes (like paying for cable and not packing my lunch) during college, but I lived to tell about them… so it’s all good. College is a great time for personal growth and personal experiences, but it is not a great time for our personal finances.

I believe that the reason college students are always so broke is because colleges (and high schools) don’t offer a course in personal finance for students.  If we learned about living costs and saving money at a younger age we wouldn’t be forced to learn from our mistakes in college.  Just as all first year business students are required to take an introduction to Micro Economics course, all first year university students should be forced to take a course in Personal Finance for Students.

Personal Finance for Students should include projected costs of our tuition and books, as well as the cost of living in our city.  It would have been very helpful for me during my first couple years of college if I knew ahead of time how much I needed to spend each month on housing, groceries, and public transportation.  It would have also been very helpful if I was taught how to save money and appreciate the value of a dollar before starting to live life on my own in college.


Saving Money in College

Depending on your Program of Study you may have several extra expenses on top of your normal tuition and book costs.  I had two classes in my first year of college that required me to buy drawing tools and various supplies.  Of course I had not planned for these additional expenses (it was over $100); therefore I had to make cuts in my spending in order to be able to afford my school supplies.

The easiest way for students to save money in college is to make cuts to our spending.  Many college students don’t make a lot of money while in college; therefore we cannot save money in college because we don’t have any disposable income.

If we make cuts in our living expenses, and our going out expenses, we can actually save money each month.  Think about the last time you bought food, what did you buy and how much did it cost? Before you spend $1.50 on a bagel at the campus cafe, remember that you can buy 6 bagels for $3.29 at the grocery store. Think about the last time you went out on a Saturday night, where did you go and how much money did you spend? Before you say yes to go clubbing with your friends next weekend, think about how many other things you can do with $60 other than drink alcohol all night and wake up with a hangover in the morning.


Here are the previous posts in our Going Back to College Savings series:

My College To Do List

My College Check List

Can You Afford To Go To College

The Opportunity Cost of a College Education

Find Free Money For College


Photo by Pattybot

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya is 30 years old and lives in Montreal Quebec. She graduated in 2005 from Concordia University, and she currently works for a major International Financial Institution. She recently launched You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaP.