“I’m just a poor college student” said every 21 century college student ever.  

College is, for most high school graduates, the most expensive investment being made at this time in life.  However we all have need to buy things. Bathroom products, snacks, clothes, good times out with friends; all of these take money. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to spend less so that you could put some away for a post-college investment? Whether you’re planning on getting a car, an apartment, or trying to pay off school loans quickly, its always nice to have a way to save. 

Over the summer I was introduced to the concept of couponing. This may seem like a silly idea to many. After all, how much will coupons save? A lot more than you might think. If you’ve ever watched Extreme Couponing you’ll know that some people turn it into a part time job, investing 20 hours to cutting sorting and planning out how to use their coupons. Obviously college students don’t really have the time to invest 20 hours each week to coupon clipping, yet there are easy ways to implement the concept in smaller ways. 

A great place to start in your money saving is to get free discount cards from any store you go to that has them.  Most often they come in key ring form so they can stay with you at all times.  After that taking coupons out of a sunday paper is an option, however, it also takes a bit of time. A more modern option, if you’d like to select specific coupons can be found online.  www.coupons.com is one such coupon site. On this site you can look through all of the coupons they have for the week and “clip” which ones you have use for. These are especially good for items you would buy in a grocery store. If you are doing any other form of shopping or know where you want to go, it is also very easy to search for coupons online for specific stores or places of amusement.  You might not always save hundreds, but all of those dollars off add up.

What do you do with these funds you haven’t spent each month? Its a really good idea to either have a savings account set up that you won’t touch, or just some place to put your money.  Many banks don’t have monthly charges on accounts made for students, so it won’t cost you as long as you stay above their minimum amount. 

Thinking a few months ahead say you’ve got at least $500 to invest, you can put it into A CD account that has a set maturing period. It will incur more interest than a typical savings account so at the end of the time period you have more to either put back into your savings, or invest in another way. 

Small savings bonds, and stock market investments are two such options, but I would suggest doing some research on both before getting into them.

Here are a few resouces to help with that:

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/products/prod_ibonds_glance.htm

http://www.savingsbonds.com

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/money101/lesson5/

http://money.msn.com/investing/

 

However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. Deuteronomy 15:4-5

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