Flickr user Ken Wilcox The fact that you\u2019ve made it to college doesn\u2019t make you an independent, financially responsible adult just yet. Daily outs and abouts in the first year can set you back more than you think if you don\u2019t watch your spending. For a freshman, flashy jewelry, hip clothing, and all the trinkets that shine but aren\u2019t an utter necessity can turn out to be both a waste of cash and a guilt trip waiting to hit home. The good news is there are lots of ways for college first-timers to make savings here and there and invest the cash in a smarter goal instead of a one-off thrill. If you want to find out the best ways to save money without sacrificing the little things that make your heart skip, you\u2019ve come to the right place: here are a few simple tips a university freshman can use to cut their monthly expenses. 1. Budget Up Front The first thing a college freshman needs to do when looking to reduce their spending is define a framework budget and cost estimate. To get a realistic image of your monthly expenses, write down utility costs and estimated prices of food, toiletries, transport, laundry services, and other necessities. Based on the monthly costs you can\u2019t avoid, you\u2019ll have a clear idea about the amount of money you can put aside for emergencies, extras, and future goals. 2. Cut Your Costs Once you\u2019ve laid out the monthly budget, you should look into the options to cut your costs by making your own meals, using Laundromats or dorm washing machines instead of paid laundry services, and walking or biking instead of driving to campus. It would also be a smart idea to carpool with roommates or classmates to cut transport costs when going grocery shopping or going out: after all, the more is always the merrier, and the cheaper. \u00a0 3. Earn Your Extras Even if you don\u2019t have to sing for your supper and can rely on your parents for financial backup, you might want to find a part-time job and start making your own money as soon as possible. A part-time or freelance job such as tutoring, copywriting, or bartending won\u2019t take up too much of your precious study time but it will earn you a smart amount of cash which you\u2019ll be able to put aside or spend on fancy gizmos, weekend trips, and other smart study motivators. 4. Freebies Welcome Freebies are every student\u2019s best friend, and you should use every freebie fate drops in your lap. From free movie tickets to recreation programs and various promotional products, you should use every freebie that can save you quite a lot of money down the road. You can also make arrangements with your friends to do each other\u2019s nails or hair: apart from being fun, DIY beauty regimens can save you a lot of amount of cash in the long run. 5. Discounts Matter As a freshman, you\u2019ll probably be entitled to various discounts that can save you cash for other purposes. To stay on the safe side of your expense list, you can ask around for special discounts and coupons students are entitled to in local restaurants, stores, bars, fitness centers, cinemas, and stores. It\u2019d also be smart to team up with roommates and make use of discounts supermarkets, book stores, and certain shops grant for bulk purchases. 6. Gift Cards Galore When the funding gets tough, the tough grab their trusted gift cards and cut the costs at the right angles. As a freshman, it\u2019d be smart to check prepaid gift cards on offer and select the one that entitles you to special discounts with travel agencies, sports clubs, and other services you intend to use in the first year of your college studies. Expert tip: when choosing the gift card, bear in mind that prepaid cards entitle you to a limited amount of money, so use them wisely to avoid unwarranted expenses. Going off to college is the beginning of a new stage in your life, and as such requires a lot of planning and preparation on many levels. To keep your finances together during the first year of your university studies, stick to the tips above and you\u2019ll never catch yourself stretching your dollar at the end of the month. Ready, steady, go and make most of your freshman days! \u00a0 Use College Raptor's new Student Loan Finder to discover personalized loan options. Compare lenders and interest rates to find the ideal student loan---for FREE!