Coming up and sticking to a budget while in college can be a challenging task, especially when most of us have little to no experience with managing out our own money. But, by sticking to a budget you’ll be less likely to leave college with an large mountain of debt.
A few good ways to help budgeting while in college is by first setting up a small monthly or semester long budget. While the month or semester goes on, really keep track of where you spend money and how much. Also, include your income and add up expenses as well which can include anything from tuition, fees, booking, rent, food, gas, and activities.
It is also really good to stay on track while budgeting. If you happen to make a mistake along the way, just get right back on track. It is also okay to make some adjustments every now and then on where you’re spending your money.
Another great tip to always keep in mind is to not keep up with your friends all the time. This can be hard to do so in college when a group of your friends wants to head out and have a night on the town or go eat somewhere. Avoid the temptation to do this as much as you can. It is very easy to just spend money on things you probably don’t really need when you see other people doing so.
When budgeting, it is also a great to set up some goals to go along with your budget. Design your budget based on your goals every month to saving for a new car, or even getting ready to graduate from college with little or no debt. Set limits on certain areas of spending as well. When you don’t think about it, we tend to eat out quiet a bit during our college years. Doing so can actually end up really draining most of your income if you do not notice. So try to limit certain areas of spending to help losing most of your money when you get your next income.
Now when it comes to credit cards, many college students tend to have one. If you do have a credit card, try to behave with it differently than others might. If you do not have the money to buy something, don’t but it. Without having self-discipline, you could end up spending so much money on the card and end up having problems paying it off later on. The right time to use a credit card is in an emergency. Also remember to pay it off every month, with self-discipline it will really help you use your card more wisely.
By using this tips and really sticking to a budget, you’ll develop better habits at handling your money while in college and also to help you for the years to come.