College years are the most crucial part for every adult. It is the perfect time to manage your money solely. However, budgeting can be challenging to anyone, and college students are not exceptional. Some depend on their parents for financial support due to poor financial management. Therefore, it’s essential to learn more about managing your finances while at college so as to have a financially stable life in the future.
You can use the following simple tips on how you can budget your money:
1. Assessing Your Financial Situation
It is essential to assess your financial situation by logging into your bank account. Then, check your recent monthly spending. Referring to your statement, make a list of things you spend your money on in that particular month and indicate the cost of every item. At the far end of your list, mention whether the item is a necessity or a want.
2. Avoid Overspending
It’s good to limit your spending at college. First, come up with a realistic budget, then try to reduce the money on each item. For example, you can rent used textbooks instead of buying new ones in which, in most cases, they tend to be expensive. You can also look for roommates and rent a space with them at places like waterloo student housing, which offers high-quality rental apartments to college students and can help you as a single person avoid overspending by being able to split up costs amongst multiple people. These apartments have glorious exterior and interior, with fashionable furniture. You can also cut costs by sharing groceries, utilities, food, and more between you and your roommates. You can also use a college bus or scooters for transportation because it is the most economical option if you are wanting to not spend a lot and save some money.
3. Use an App
In colleges, many activities take place. Unfortunately, if you are not keen enough and you lack a well-structured financial plan, chances are you may find yourself in a financial disaster. Therefore, you should look for a free budgeting app to help you manage your money. Try an app like Mint to get the best budgeting tools. It will help you track and monitor spending in real-time.
4. Investing Your Spare Change
Spare change saving is possible by using investing apps like Acorns. The investing apps are helping students create investments. You should link your credit card, and then, when you make any purchase, the app will round up the total amount to the nearest dollar and the remaining amount you will use for investments. This method will help you save money and invest in bonds and stocks.
5. Start Paying Your Student Loans Early
It is advisable to start paying your student loans immediately, even before graduating. Include your loans in your budget, even if your budget is small. Make regular payments, and this will help you pay your loan fast.
6. Use Student ID or Email
Your student ID or Email can give you a lot of valuable student discounts. For instance, you can use your student email address to sign up on Amazon for Prime Student. Surprisingly, you can receive free items shipping, including college promotions and deals. Also, you can get other great deals from computer software, FedEx shipping, clothing, and food. You should always confirm whether there’s any student discount before buying anything. This is a really great budgeting tip to consider.
7. Attend Free Events
In most cases, universities and colleges hold free events. So, you should take advantage and attend to them. Going to local bars and clubs is a nice feeling, but you should avoid them to save money. Again, it would help if you did not lock yourself in your room, but look for free events around you because events allow you to meet and make new friends.
8. Borrow Less Money
If you pay your education using student loans, try to borrow the minimum amount as much as possible. By doing so, you will ease your burden when payment time comes. Moreover, you should live within tour means and follow the 50-30-20 financial rule. Meaning, 50% of your total income should go to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% towards your savings and debts.
Creating a workable college student budget is possible. Building a proper budget helps you stay on track easing your life after graduation. Furthermore, learning and maintaining a budget is a vital skill that you can carry with you for the rest of your life.