Saving as a Student

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Photo courtesy of http://401kcalculator.org

You’re completely on your own and your bank account has fallen to almost zero – we’ve all had that experience at some point in our college career, or have at least known someone who went through it. It’s difficult to be completely on your own when your bank account has dwindled down to nothing.

I experienced this my sophomore year and didn’t know how I would survive from one day to the next. Luckily, I had a support system to help pull me out of the hole. What would happen if that support wasn’t there? Many students don’t have that support, and they have to learn to depend on themselves very quickly. There are many things that you can do to make sure you are prepared for the unexpected “rock bottom.” One of the best things you can do to be ready for one of those moments is to start a savings account.

‘Lack of funds’ is the most common excuse I’ve heard of from people who are hesitant to open a bank account. The truth is, most savings accounts don’t need much of a deposit to actually get started. If you’re in a position where it’s a little difficult, then the best option is to start small. Make a list of your monthly or weekly expenses, and then subtract that from how much you earn. You’ll be able to see a clear amount of how much of your money can go into savings.

If you see that you don’t have that much extra money left, then start even smaller. One of my friends and his wife recently shared a post on Facebook where they were able to save about $100 in 6 months just by putting all of their loose change into a jar and not touching it. You can also make it fun by doing a small savings challenge. There are a variety of different types of challenges and calculators on the internet that you can customize to fit your goals, no matter how big or small. Bank of America features a great short-term savings calculator that will help you get started and motivated.

Once you have the funds to start your savings account, the next step is to choose your bank and the kind of account you want. Both Bank of America and Wells Fargo have great features for beginner savings accounts. They make the whole process easy and include great features that will encourage you to save more. Wells Fargo’s Way2Save savings account only needs a $25 deposit to open, and gives you the option to set up automatic transfers to it. Bank of America has a cool and convenient option to round up each of your purchases to a whole dollar and deposit the change right into your savings account. You won’t have to lift a finger and you’ll be able to watch your savings grow.

These two steps are just the beginning. As you grow older, you’ll start to think about huge financial goals that you want to meet. Even though the numbers may intimidate you, remember that everything starts at zero – it’s up to you to take the first step. Stay committed and keep track of how much you are saving, and you’ll be on your way to having a comfortable savings account.