College is all about learning and experiencing new things. There’s no better life experience that traveling the world. You might be tempted to borrow more student loans to fund vacations, but that’s never a financially sound decision. Saving a little money every week throughout the school year can pay off big when summer rolls around. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Get a Travel Savings Account
Shop around your local banks and credit unions until you find a savings account with the highest interest rate. Make sure there isn’t an annual fee, and don’t be afraid to take one with withdraw restrictions. If it’s harder to get at your account, you’ll be less inclined to steal from you savings.
Start Your Own Round Up Program
Some banks offer to round your transactions to the nearest dollar and save you the change. While the easiest way to not overspend is to put yourself on a cash-only budget, you can use the same concept with your cash. Keep all your change and turn it to your special savings account whenever your jar gets full.
You can also do the same thing if you use a register to track your checkbook or debit expenses. Just round up every transaction you record and when your statement comes, transfer the difference you didn’t think you had into your travel account.
Work for Your Wanderlust
Find an extra job or shift that you can dedicate to your travel fund. If Fridays are the best tip night, dedicate that money every week to your travel account. Some people have a special skill around campus that people will pay for; installing hard drives, proofreading reports, renting out their to move furniture. Be enterprising and make sure any extra cash you earn goes directly into your change jar or savings account.
Books for Bucks
If your parents or financial aid pays for you books and supplies, always try to buy as cheaply as possible, but take the money you make selling your used textbooks to fund your next adventures. And don’t trust the campus bookstore. Amazon, Cash4Books.net and many websites either buy your books directly or facilitate selling to others. You can also do it the old fashioned way by advertising on the campus bulletin boards, both physical and electronic.
Clean Up For Cash
Are your frat brothers big drinkers? Does that study lounge on your floor always have Mountain Dew cans in the trash? If you live in a bottle deposit state, you can easily collect cans and bottles for extra cash. If your state doesn’t, some redemption centers will still pay by weight. Every little nickel helps. Just make sure you deposit that extra change before you get home.
Coupon for Necessities
College students aren’t known for their interest in couponing, but if you’re serious about saving money to travel, making the most of printed and online coupons can help you save money on food, toiletries and other essentials—money that can be funneled directly to your travel savings.
Set a goal, be creative, make a plan and stick to it! Keep a picture of your destination in your wallet or on your wall so that if you’re ever tempted to over spend, you’ll be reminded of what you’re saving for.
Photo credits: Caffeinated by MoneyBlogNewz/flickr; The Waitress by Adikos/flickr
Author Bio: Mary Blanchard is a self diagnosed coupon addict! She loves to find the best deals, share her advice and investigate options. As an addict, she provides information for other addicts or just those who want to find the best buy for their dollar. One of her favorite sites to shop around for deals is the couponcroc.co.uk in the UK, check them out to see why.