- By Lindsey Baker
Tips to help college students better manage their budgets
One of the hardest parts of being in college is budgeting and saving money. Here are a few tips that will keep you in check.
Learn the difference between a need and a want. If you are going to be saving any money, you need to realize there are some things that you do not need. For example, it is okay to go out to a bar occasionally, but you should take account how much you are paying to get in, get there, and how much food and drinks are going to cost you. Now, think about all that money and realize it could be used for a need like groceries.
Think about the hidden costs. Far too often we go into situations thinking they will be one way and they end up another. When you make plans to go out with friends, think about how much you are going to spend and do not forget to factor in the costs you are not aware of. Just like buying a house, there are all kinds of costs you do not know about yet. This is life!
Put a certain amount of money into savings each month. If you have a job or any form of income, every time you get paid you should have your bank account set-up to where a certain amount of money will go from your checking into your savings. Whether it be $25 or $100 each month, it will add up, and soon you will have a nice safety net in case of emergency.
Take advantage of sales, discounts, and coupons. One thing that has helped me save money is only buying things when they go on sale or if I have a coupon. Another useful tool is store apps and signing up for emails. This a great way to get news on store’s current offers and weekly deals.
Check your bank account frequently. This is important to keep track of over-spending and to be aware of fraudulent charges. Keeping an eye on your bank account is a necessity, especially if you do a lot of online shopping and your information can be easily stolen.