Being a college student is tough, especially on the wallet. For some of us it’s our first time on our own, and maybe the first time learning how to budget our day to day expenses. Whether you’re on a meal plan with the dining hall, or learning how to cook in an apartment with your friends, it’s time to start being smart with your money. Here are Faviana’s Tips for a College Girl’s Guide to Money Management.
Make A Budget
The first step for money management is to create a budget for yourself. Make a spreadsheet and lay out your daily expenses, and your income (if you are also working). Factor in your parents contribution, and don’t forget to put in those Starbucks runs. Create columns for things like transportation, food, entertainment,
Change The Budget
Now that you have tested out your budget, it is time to make adjustments. Have you been spending way too much money on the pizza runs? Are you actually putting more in your savings account than you thought? Be realistic! This is for you, take it seriously. Take some time to adjust your budget, and stick to it as best you can.
If you are way over budget, start thinking about where you can cut your spending. Whether you start packing a lunch for class everyday instead of going to the cute cafe down the street, or cutting back on your daily coffee, none of these things will kill you. If you have an event coming up that you know is going to cost you, try to make adjustments in the weekly budget to save up for the event.
Save For Later
Saving is something your parents have been telling you to do for years, but now it’s time to take it seriously! If you are working as you go to school or intern, see if you are able to put a little piece of your paycheck into your savings account. Also, make sure to exercise some self control and don’t touch your savings account unless it is a true emergency!
Use Credit Cards Cautiously
It is very easy to accidentally over spend with credit cards, so only use one when you know you have the money to do so. Get yourself into the habit of using your credit card, and paying off the balance right away. If you don’t think you can responsibly use a credit card, stick to a debit card and ensure you have overdraw protection. Take advantage of your bank’s app, and check your spending at least once a day to avoid surprise charges. Check out our tips for credit card 101 here!
The key to managing your money is to be honest with yourself, and stick to your budget. It is easy to get yourself into a sticky situation if you don’t watch your money, especially in college. Budgeting is a great way to save money while also doing the things you love!