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Making An Effective Budget For College Students
One of the reasons why college students are having a hard time with their finances is because they do not know how to effectively budget their money. This is understandable because most of the time, financial literacy is not taught in school.
Today, let’s change that. Let’s understand how you can manage your finances and be able to allocate the right funds to the right expenditures.
Talk To People Involved In Your Budgeting
If you are living independently, then you can skip this part. However, we understand that most college students still depend on other people for their finances. For example, they have their parents and even guardians.
Having said that, it is important that you include them when you plan to manage your budget. That way, you can openly talk about numbers, and how much money you need to stretch for the entire month or semester.
Know Your Financial Goals
You need to create your own financial goals. This could be your target or vision as to why you would want to manage your finances. For example, you want to save this amount of money so you can start a small business. Or perhaps, you want to save because you wish to attend different classes. It’s always good to have goals so that you will be motivated to stick with your budget and to save.
Learn How To Invest
Many college students fail to invest because they believe they are too young or it’s too soon. But you know what? No one is ever too young to start investing. However, you need to be educated or be guided by people who are already in the trade.
Fortunately, you can find a lot of groups online where they are willingly sharing the techniques on how to invest. Instead of scrolling your newsfeed for nonsense memes, then why don’t you join these groups and learn more?
List Down All Possible Expenses
You have to be realistic when listing down all your possible expenses in college. Of course, you have the tuition fee. Then, you have to consider your home or your accommodation. Let’s not forget your books and costs for projects as well. Lastly, you must leave the budget so you can enjoy a bit of your university life. You may call it entertainment budget.
Review How Much You Spend
When you all are already in college, it becomes clearer how much you need per month. We recommend that you sit down and review your expenditures. See if there are items that you can cut down.
For example, if you’re always drinking Starbucks coffee every day, why don’t you get a coffee maker? You would soon realize that it gives you that same experience. Also, instead of getting brand new books, maybe you can look online and get secondhand ones. Take note that these are usually cheaper. Or perhaps, you are always ordering out or taking out food from restaurants. In that case, you should learn how to prepare and cook your own meals. This is better, not just for your wallets but also for your health.
Automate Your Expenses
It’s also a good idea to automate some of your expenses so it will be paid right away. Schedule it on the dates where your bank account is still full. This simple technique means that you are not going to touch the money and buy other things that are not important.
See If You Need To Get A Credit Card
Many people think that credit cards are bad and will not help you. On some levels, they are right because it could be tempting to just swipe your credit card and buy unnecessary purchases.
However, it could also teach you how to control your impulses, most especially that you are now a young adult. If you are to get a credit card, make sure that you will use it only for important things, and that you will pay it on time. Otherwise, you’re already building a bad credit score which is hard to turn around after you earn your degree.
When you practice good financial habits as early as now, and if you are able to get through college without having financial troubles, trust us, it will be easier for you in the future. It’s actually good training for yourself as well.
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