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  • Writer's pictureProvision Staff

7 Financial Stewardship Tips for College Students

Updated: Mar 8

College is an exciting milestone, filled with opportunities for personal growth and learning. However, it can also be challenging as many students navigate the responsibilities of budgeting, saving, and managing their finances for the first time.

This major life event can be an excellent opportunity to put faithful and wise stewardship practices in place. Here are seven wise financial tips to help you make the most of your money while in college. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it will provide some helpful guidance as you start this new chapter and as you seek to avoid common financial pitfalls.

1. Create a Budget

One of the most important financial tools you can develop in college is creating and managing a budget. Starting a budget is simple. Start by listing all your sources of income, including income from jobs, scholarships, or other forms of financial aid. Then, create a detailed list of your expenses. Expenses can include tuition, rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment.

Having a budget will help you keep track of what you are spending. A good budget will also help you prevent overspending and help you make well-informed financial decisions.

2. Limit Credit Card Use

Credit cards can be useful in establishing and building credit, but they can also lead to debt if you use them irresponsibly. If you have a credit card, make sure you are using it sparingly and only for necessary expenses. If you do use your credit card, be sure to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.

3. Look for Student Discounts

Many companies offer student discounts on services such as textbooks, meals, and streaming services. Hulu, Amazon, Spotify, Choice Hotels, and McDonald's are just a few of the many places you can find discounts for being a student. Always carry your student ID and ask about discounts wherever you shop. Even small discounts can make a major difference and help stretch your budget further.

4. Cook at Home

It can be tempting to eat out a lot while in college. While it is more convenient to eat out, it will drain your finances quickly. Instead, learn to cook simple, budget-friendly meals at home. Save money while also learning a valuable life skill that will serve you well beyond your college years.

5. Apply for Scholarships and Grants

There are numerous scholarship and grant opportunities available for students based on the degree they are pursuing, where they are located, background, and extracurricular activities. These awards can significantly reduce the financial burden of tuition, fees, and books associated with college. At Provision, we offer several scholarships as well, designed to help you focus more on your studies and less on the cost of college.

6. Plan for Sudden Emergencies

Life can be unpredictable at times. As the old adage goes, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." It’s essential to have an emergency fund available to help with situations like medical bills, car repairs, or new appliances. Even saving a small amount from your paycheck can add up over time, providing you with a safety net for whatever emergency might arise.

7. Consider Freelance or Part-Time Work

Freelance or part-time employment can help you cover your day-to-day expenses and provide valuable work experience. However, it is important to steward yourself well, as it’s important to balance your job with your studies. Many students find themselves too overwhelmed to continue with their studies due to their work responsibilities. Managing your time well can help balance your work/school responsibilities.

College can be an exciting time, one of exploration and growth. Developing good financial habits can help set you on a path to success that will endure beyond your college years. By creating a good budget, being mindful of your spending, and making well-informed financial decisions, you will not only survive but thrive during your college years while setting the stage for a financially secure future.


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