29 Aug Money Tips for College Students
The transition from living at home with your parents to becoming a college student isn’t always as easy as it might seem. One of the things most college students struggle with is learning how to save money and budget themselves. Here are a few tips that can help you get on the right path with managing your money.
Create a budget for yourself.
Step one? You need a realistic budget! And when we say realistic, we mean that you shouldn’t try to restrict your spending too much, but you shouldn’t be spending more than you’re bringing in.
Your budget categories should include all “wants” (entertainment, eating out, etc.) and “needs” (toiletries, school supplies, etc.). This will teach you how to be financially balanced. But remember: a budget is subject to change, and it takes several attempts—so don’t give up!
Create a “rainy day fund” for emergencies.
You don’t never want to find yourself in a situation with absolutely no way out. Putting aside money for emergencies whenever possible helps to create a safety net! In other words? Don’t spend all of your money so that you have nothing left to save.
Limit the amount you spend going out to eat.
Instead of always going out and doing unnecessary spending on eating out, try cooking in your dorm or apartment. And on your broke months, Ramen noodles exist for a reason. Buying groceries saves a lot of money on food. Have a meal plan? Use it.
Don’t sign up for credit cards you don’t need.
Although you will receive tons of credit card offers in the mail, don’t sign up for any of them. This way you don’t have to worry about overspending while still keeping a limit. Ensure your interest rate is low to decrease the amount that you have to pay back. We don’t mean that you shouldn’t have a credit card. Instead, you should do proper research for a credit card that will work for you instead of signing up for the first one that falls on your doorstep.
Use a checking account.
Having a checking account is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your funds, budgets, and spending. When needed, cash is easily disbursed through your bank’s ATM machine by using your debit card. Also, check to see if your bank offers a mobile banking app so you can access your checking account through your smartphone.
Shop around for text books to find the best prices.
Although your university bookstore may be the first place that comes to mind when purchasing books, there are cheaper alternatives. Visit local bookstores or look online to find what you’re looking for at a discount price. Also, renting and purchasing used books is another way to ensure saving money on textbooks.
Leaving home and managing your money on your own can feel like a whole new world. Don’t get overwhelmed—simply be smart with your spending.