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The 10 Financially Savvy Habits You Develop In College (Without Even Realizing It)

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College is a truly unique experience, during which time you get to grow into an independent adult! Of course, with newfound freedom come responsibilities—and financial responsibility is a pretty vital one. Luckily, your time in college helps you develop these 10 financially savvy habits without even realizing it.

1. You wait to do laundry until the last minute possible.

Most students tend to prioritize a whole bunch of things besides the cleanliness of their wardrobe. Between attending classes, studying, and socializing, there simply isn’t enough time to worry too much about just how long it’s been since you’ve washed your jeans. And that’s a good thing! Doing laundry is expensive and time consuming, so you should think twice before doing a load and college helps you figure that out.

2. You learn how to be a frugal shopper.

Once you leave home and start to make more and more of your own financial choices, you begin to understand why saving is actually a really smart thing to do. Naturally, you start to care less about expensive brand names and more about getting the most out of every dollar you spend. College turns you into a shopper more mindful of price tags than fancy labels.

3. You take care of things with resale value, like textbooks.

One great way to earn an extra buck during school is to resell your old textbooks after you’re done with them. That means taking care of your books throughout the semester since you can only resell them if they remain in good condition. Soon enough, you start treating anything you own that has potential resale value with the utmost care.

4. You balance your wants and needs when it comes to food.

Eating in college is an exercise in feeding your body for the least amount of money possible so you can save up for other fun activities. If you’re going out to eat, you pay close attention to any special deals on the menu. You might briefly consider ordering the dover sole dish, but only until you realize that the burger and fries combo will make you just as happy—for half the price!

5. You buy necessities in bulk.

Soon into your schooling, you figure out that it’s totally worth buying anything that qualifies as a necessity—shampoo, hand soap, coffee grinds, etc.—in bulk. This does wonders for your bank account because you save a lot when you buy larger quantities of certain key items.

6. You realize that not everything you own needs to be brand new.

It’s liberating to figure out that you don’t need brand-new chairs, couches, bed frames, or clothes. Rather than heading to the nearest furniture or clothing store, you always seek out cheaper options. You become a pro at sifting through online listings for used stuff, and combing the racks at consignment stores for reasonable finds.

7. You snack before heading out.

You come to realize that if you leave the house when you’re super hungry, you’re way more likely to spend on food. So rather than leaving the house with an empty stomach, you enjoy a little snack at home at no cost before heading out the door.

8. You sign up for newsletters that offer deals and consult websites for discounts too.

Whenever you’re planning a trip or a night out with friends, you consult every single resource that might help you get the most ‘bang for your buck.’ Not only do certain newsletters and websites offer great ideas for potential adventures, they save you endless amounts of money as well.

9. You cut coupons like it’s going out of style.

Whenever you receive magazines or newspapers in the mail, you immediately go to the coupon section. You save so much money from using coupons alone, and this habit will stay with you long after your college days are gone.

10. You learn how to budget like a pro.

Let’s face it—most college students aren’t exactly swimming in extra money. But that doesn’t stop them from having fun! While you’re at school, you learn a lot about how to budget your money and how to have tons of fun along the way, an incredibly helpful skill you’ll use well into the future. TC mark

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