14 Ways To Avoid Being A Broke College Student

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Being a broke college student can negatively impact your college life. So, learn how to avoid being a broke college student!

Trust me you will have way more fun in college that way.

After all, the more disposable income you have in college the easier it becomes to support yourself in college, and also save money while you attend college.

What Does It Mean To Be A broke College Student?

In simple terms, a broke college student is one who has no money left after their tuition, room, and board are paid for.

Now if you are that college student, fortunately, you can change your situation by using these tips below.

How To Avoid Being A Broke College Student

  1. Get a part-time job
  2. Live below your means
  3. Set financial goals and achieve them
  4. Set college budget
  5. Create an emergency fund
  6. Create sinking funds for huge expenses
  7. Differentiate your wants from your needs
  8. Plan for semesters in advance
  9. Have a saving mindset
  10. Take advantage of college discounts and free money
  11. Create multiple streams of income
  12. Don’t spend what you haven’t earned
  13. Monetize your hobbies
  14. Get a job during the summer

Broke College Student 1 of 2

1. Get a part-time job to avoid being a broke college student

One sure way to avoid being a broke college student is to get a part-time job you can do during your spare time.

The part-time job doesn’t have to be in your field.

However, without a doubt search for a part-time job in your field first because these types of part-time jobs can easily help you boost your college resume.

But if you can’t find a job in your field, settle for a part-time job with flexible hours and above-average pay.

Avoid college part-time jobs that take up too much of your free time, part-time jobs that pay peanuts, and part-time college jobs that negatively affect your performance in college.

All in all, these types of part-time jobs are not worth the trouble.

After all, remember your goal is to make extra money to avoid being a broke college student not to complicate your college life.


2. Live below your means

In college, unless you’re rich or have a part-time job you’re probably struggling.

However, things can get 10 times worst if you’re living a college lifestyle you can’t afford.

Unfortunately, some college students don’t realize they are living above their means until they graduate from college.

Yes, #ish only hit the fan after crossing the stage.

Sadly, after graduating they really realize how much student loans and credit card debt they accumulated during their college years.

Don’t be that college student.

Instead, live below your means, even if you have access to funds you can use to pay for things you want.

So that means no excessive spending on food deliveries and takeouts or extravagant spring break trips.

All, in all your financial future, will thank you.


3. Set financial goals and achieve them

The college students who are never broke in college set financial goals, and they achieve them.

Your financial goals don’t have to be complicated – the simpler, the better and the easier to it be to actually achieve them.

For instance, a financial goal in college can be to graduate within 3 years instead of 4 years to save money on tuition, fees, and living expenses.

Or to get a summer internship to pay for your college expenses for the upcoming semester or the upcoming college year.


4. Set college budget to avoid being a broke college student

A college budget helps college students control money better. Without a budget, there’s no guidance.

However, with a college budget, the inflow of cash and the outflow of cash is predetermined, so there no guessing.

Overall, setting a college budget gives you a realistic view of how much money coming in and how much money going out.

This in turn can help you, as a college student, find areas in your budget you can reduce to help you save money during the month.


5. Create an emergency fund to avoid being a broke college student

I can’t tell you how many times my college emergency fund helped me cover unexpected college expenses during the semester.

If you don’t have a college emergency fund it’s time to start one.

Now it doesn’t have to be the $1,000 thousand that a few financial gurus recommend – it can be less.

For instance, my college emergency fund each semester was around $300, and it was very helpful.


6. Create sinking funds for huge expenses

So you may be wondering why you need sinking funds for huge expenses when you have an emergency fund!

Like what’s that sinking funds situation all about! It’s almost as if you’re doing too much at this point.

I know I had the same opinion when a good friend of mine put me on game. I honestly thought she was doing too much.

Like what’s the point? But after she explained I got onboard with the idea and practice this still to this day.

Sinking funds are basically money you set aside or save to pay off debt or to make purchases in the future.

Now sinking funds are completely separate from your savings account or your emergency fund and that’s great.

When you use sinking funds it can help you to stay out of debt and help you enjoy spending money guilt-free.

For instance, you can set up sinking funds, to set money aside for your spring break trip.

So instead of using a credit card to pay for your spring break trip, you can easily pay for your spring break trip in cash without feeling guilty you’re using a credit card to cover the expense.

How cool is that?


7. Differentiate your wants from your needs

This one is big! If you don’t want to be a broke college student in college, differentiating your wants from your needs is a must.

In college and in life in general, it is so easy to fall into the habit of buying things you don’t need or buying wants and deliberately classifying them as needs in an attempt to reduce guilt about the purchase.

Differentiate your wants from your needs will help you keep more money in your pocket and help you avoid being a broke college student.

All in all, making money in college is one thing but if you spend it buying things you don’t need you will always be broke in college.

Plus, you really don’t want to end up being that college student who has to sell the things he or she wasted money on in order to raise money to pay for something he or she really needs.

Thus, practice differentiating your wants from your needs, and you will be one step closer to actually saving money for college.


Being A Broke College Student 2 of 3

8. Plan for semesters in advance

Planning your semesters in advance is extremely important because it helps you graduate on time.

In general, a 4-year college degree should be completed within 4 years. However, you would be surprised to find out the number of college students who spend 5 years plus in college trying to complete their degree.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, just 41% of first-time full-time college students earn a bachelor’s degree in four years, and only 59% earn a bachelor’s in six years.

Now for some of these students, spending over 4 years to complete their college degrees isn’t entirely their fault or isn’t their fault at all, but for some it is.

Thankfully, by planning for each semester in college in advance a college student can dramatically reduce the risk of this happening to them.

Planning for a semester in advance ensures you take all course prerequisites at the right time in order to graduate on time.

All in all, doing this can easily save you thousands. Especially when you consider how expensive tuition, room and board, and other college fees can be for just one in college.

Thus, to avoid being a broke college student by planning your semesters in college in advance.


9. Have a saving mindset to avoid being a broke college student

Always look for opportunities to save money in college. So that means you must avoid buying things you don’t need and save as much money as possible.

So instead of buying something even if it’s something you need always find out ways you can save on the purchase or ways you can get it for free if it’s possible.

Now, this takes us right into the next point …


10. Take advantage of college discounts and free money

Take advantage of college discounts and free money! You will be surprised by the things some college students pay full price for.

It’s one thing to be buying things you probably don’t need in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a different thing to be paying full price too when you don’t have to.

Therefore, always search online for college discounts and cashback opportunities where companies are basically paying you to take the items off their hands.

Don’t be the college student who is paying the full price of college supplies when your college roommate is paying way less for exactly the same things.


11. Create multiple streams of income

A broke college student usually doesn’t have multiple streams of income. Now, sometimes it isn’t the student’s fault.

However, if a college student doesn’t have any work-related restrictions it’s in their best interest to create different ways to earn money while they attend college.

Whether it’s setting up an online store selling things on Etsy, driving for Uber, or being a part-time sales associate there are ways to earn money while in college.

A college student just has to be willing and able to do so.


12. Don’t spend what you haven’t earned

This really means avoid debt while you’re in college.

Now, using debt while you in college may help you pay for things in college. So on the surface, you may not feel like you’re broke.

However, the reality is you would be worst off when compared to another broke college student without any college debt.

Therefore, find ways to make money in college and avoid spending what you haven’t earned to avoid being an extremely broke student in college.


13. Monetize your hobbies to avoid being a broke college student

Go ahead and monetize your hobbies! Do you have an Instagram account with a few thousand followers who watch your every move?

Then it’s time to find out ways to monetize your Instagram account. Don’t leave money on the table.

There are people who make a living off the content they post on social media platforms like Instagram.

Now this applies to anything you can legally do.

For instance, maybe you love cooking and/or baking then maybe you can consider opening a cratering side business.

So think about what you love doing and figure out how you can make money off it.

You might be surprised by what others are willing to pay for – don’t sell your skills short!

Monetize your skills in order to avoid being a broke college student.


14. Get a job during the summer

Yes! Get a job during the summer! This can help you significantly boost your resume and help you make some serious money during the summer!

So I know you may just want to relax during your summer vacation especially if your college major is challenging. But if you want to avoid being a broke college student it’s in your best interest to hustle during the summer and save some money.

Just having that extra money you saved during the summer to start the new semester can help take some of the financial stress that exists at the being of every semester.


This is it! Overall, these are great ways to avoid being a broke college student and to help you have more fun in college.

Now, I know when we decided to attend college we also decided to make a sacrifice but there no reason we have to financially struggle in college anymore.

Maybe back in these days but not anymore. Nowadays college students have more resources.

So now there are easier ways to avoid being broke in college.  Thanks to the gig economy and online jobs college students can earn money while completing college degrees and stress less about college finances.

Read: What Not To Do In College

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