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5 Tools To Manage Your Finances Easier While Still Partying In College
Enrolling in college is an exciting step toward adulthood and financial independence. However, it also brings responsibility with many new tasks. Managing your finances is one of the most important, because if you run out of money, it may affect your ability to continue taking classes as well as impacting your lifestyle. However, there are plenty of ways to take care of your finances while learning to navigate college life, parties and all. Here are five proven tips that you may find useful.
Organize a Monthly Budget
Outline your income and expenses on a month-by-month basis using a digital app for convenience. Electronic programs like Quicken and Mint help you set up a budget monitoring program as well as track credit card purchases and debit card transactions. List all your regular expenses along with those that occur occasionally, like textbook purchases at the beginning of each semester.
Set Up an Emergency Fund
Everyone needs an emergency fund for unexpected costs. A car repair, a medical deductible, or a last-minute printer cartridge can be purchased from the savings part of your budget that you have set up for this purpose. You may want to check with some area banks to find an interest-bearing savings account that does not require a high minimum balance. Make a point of using those funds only for true emergencies.
Include Discretionary Spending
Students living at home with parents or in a campus dorm are going to have occasional recreational expenses. You might want to go bowling with friends, buy some party snacks, or pick up a graphic t-shirt at local shop. Include some fun money in your monthly budget to realistically plan for unnecessary indulgences that make student life a little more enjoyable. You could load a low-balance debit card just for this purpose, and when the funds are gone, don’t spend more. Consult a bank associate about a debit card just for discretionary spending. You might be interested in using an app like Wally to track your non-essential transactions. Consider installing a phone app like Goodbudget that utilizes the envelope method to help you plan and track your expenses.
Avoid Using Credit
Unless you have set up your tuition and college fees on a credit card payment plan along with other necessities, avoid using credit to buy things unless it’s unavoidable. Credit card spending has been shown to cause many people to spend more than they would with cash. It’s also easy to overspend above the limit, which can lead to penalties and fees. Don’t take your credit card with you everywhere. Keep it at home until it’s needed. Revolut and Robinhood are popular money management apps that are easy to use. Revolut also manages cryptocurrency.
Invite Oversight for Accountability
If you are new to budgeting, it may be a good idea to have a parent or someone you trust who is good with money take a look at your budget each month. They might notice an issue that you have unintentionally overlooked. Some of the apps mentioned above offer account-sharing features. Check them out to decide how much financial transparency you want to share.
Establishing sound financial practices now while you’re in college is a great way to start building a secure foundation for the future. Take advantage of apps like these to help you spend wisely and save prudently to cover your lifestyle needs.
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