College teaches us a lot of things, and classes are just a part of them. Actually, students learn something even more important when going to college, namely, how to be independent and how to organize their lives.
You might think that once you’ve finished writing your college application essay and received an acceptance letter, everything is fine. Actually, that’s where the real challenge starts. Some students don’t have troubles with organizing their life and money in college as they are already independent enough. However, if you aren’t one of those lucky ones, it might seem tough at first.
That’s why today I want to help you, offering 5 nice tips that hopefully will allow you to manage your budget well.
- Define a budget
A source of income is different for everyone: some have scholarships, some receive money from home, some work part-time jobs. If you have more than one, that’s both good and confusing as sometimes you receive more money and sometimes you receive less.
That’s why it’s so important to define your budget: a fixed sum that you will definitely receive this month. Maybe it’s your scholarship, maybe it’s your paycheck. After you define it, you have to plan your expenses according to this fixed sum.
Yes, maybe this won’t be your only income this month, however, you can be sure that you’ll have this money. If additional money appears, that will be nice, but even if not, your budget still won’t suffer.
- Don’t forget to save
Let’s imagine that you received some money besides your fixed budget. Probably your first desire is to spend them as quick is possible; however, it’s not wise. You have to learn how to save money. This way you’ll be financially prepared for various unexpected things. And I’m not talking about the unpleasant things only. Yes, you might need this money to buy a new pair of jeans, but you also might need it to go on a college trip, for example.
Creating a financial backup is one of the wisest things one can do both during their college years and after. Maybe the idea to save extra money instead of spending it on something pleasant doesn’t seem appealing at first, but you should still try it. If you do it well, you’ll be surprised by how much you can save.
- Find other ways to save money
We don’t actually need all the things we spend money on. It’s important to distinguish things you really need. Maybe cooking for yourself instead of buying food in a cafeteria would be more profitable? Or maybe you shouldn’t buy a sweatshirt right now and wait for discounts instead?
- Track your expenses
You can do it in so many different ways, for example, by using a mobile app or writing your expenses down in your notepad. Choose the most convenient way and try tracking them for a couple of months. It will benefit you immensely!
When you track literally every expense, the result can surprise you greatly. For example, you might think that buying a bottle of cola every day won’t affect your budget much, but what will you say when you see the total sum you spent on cola this month?
Tracking expenses help you notice all these small purchases that don’t seem important but actually affect our budget a lot. This way you’ll be able to eliminate such expenses or at least limit them.
- Avoid debts and credits
It’s okay to borrow money when you can return it in a few days. However, you still should be careful and avoid turning to credits and debts to purchase something you cannot afford. You don’t want to get into trouble and ruin your credit history, after all.
Sometimes things like loans and credits are a good option. For example, a student loan that allows you to pay your tuition, definitely is. But when your parents take such loan to buy a new car, they actually know that they can repay it. They have their jobs, their savings, and a stable income.
Students usually don’t have that. One month you receive enough money to save some, next month you don’t receive enough. If you aren’t 100 percent sure that you will be able to repay your debt or loan, avoid them at all costs.
I hope these tips will help you avoid financial difficulties and make your student years more pleasant!