Small Ways to Save Big for College

Saving money to pay for college tuition, books, and other expenses can seem like a daunting task until you break it down into small pieces. Like you write your college admissions essay one word at a time, you can save for college one dollar at a time. Try these small ways to save big for college. 

Open a College Savings Account

Open a savings or deposit account at a local or online bank or credit union, and dedicate this account solely for your college savings. Your savings will grow when you set up a direct deposit for your paycheck and plan to deposit any extra cash you receive. If you think you might be tempted to spend the funds on non-college expenses, open a custodial account that requires a parent’s signature for withdraws. 

Do Well in High School

With good grades, a high SAT score, and participation in extracurricular activities, you may qualify for college scholarships. You could also take Advanced Placement classes, earn college credits, and save thousands of dollars. Doing well in high school hones your study skills, too, which prepares you to succeed in college. 

Get a Part-Time Job 

Spend time working in the evenings or on weekends, and deposit your paychecks into your college savings account. As you watch your savings grow, you gain valuable skills that look good on your college applications. If possible, choose a job that helps you learn life skills, too, such as customer service, time management, and leadership. 

Cut Costs on Everyday Items 

Take a careful look at the amount of money you spend every day on clothing, activities, transportation, and other expenses. Cut costs on these everyday items, and you will have more money to save for college. For example:

  • Buy generic or store brands rather than brand name items.
  • Pack your lunches and make coffee at home instead of buying out.
  • Carpool with friends or take public transportation instead of buying a car.
  • Shop at secondhand clothing stores rather than at the mall.
  • Go for nature hikes or participate in intramural sports instead of joining a gym. 

Ask for Cash 

On your birthday and for holidays, ask for cash instead of physical gifts, and deposit the cash directly into your college savings account. Sure, you would like new clothes, electronic gadgets, or toys, but college is an investment that won’t wear out, become outdated, or break.

Talk to a Professional

You may be surprised at all the small ways you can save big for college. The team at Accolade Financial can offer even more advice and help you chose the savings strategy that’s right for your needs, budget, and preferences. 

When you take these small steps, your college savings grow. Every little bit helps, and your investment now prepares you for life success in the future.