Whether you’re in college or know someone who is, creating a college student budget can make a world of difference. Who doesn’t like to feel productive with their money? With all of the pressures of studying, it’s nice to keep some peace in regards to our wallets. Here are 5 tips for managing your expenses that fit perfectly into your student life.
1. List your expenses
The first step to building a college student budget is to understand your expenses. Are you living with your parents while in college or do you share an apartment with some roommates? Make a list of everything you are paying out of pocket for the entire month. Don’t forget to include minor purchases such as entertainment, coffee runs, or even social crowdfunding. Getting organized is by far, the most crucial part of the plan.
2. Add up your earnings
The next step is to add up your incoming earnings. Some students have multiple part-time jobs, while others have only one source. Regardless, make note of how much you realistically earn.
3. Compare and plan
Once you have your two figures, do a little bit of comparison. The majority of college students do not realize how close the two totals are. This may be a good time to pay attention to your spending habits. The goal is to make more money than you spend, pay off any debt, then put the rest into savings or investments. Maintaining a healthy college student budget is all about getting ahead to secure your financial prosperity.
4. Stick with it
Once you make a plan, stick with it. Create a system of small goals and rewards as motivation. You should tackle your high-interest credit cards first, followed by any other outstanding debts. Pick one item, and systematically work towards paying it off. Be patient and persistent, even if it takes time.
Consolidating your debt can sometimes make things easier. After consolidating, there will be less monthly payments to make. Furthermore, your paycheck budgeting plan can continue with fewer steps. Take some time to research if this method could be right for you.
6. Join a credit union
Everyone needs a place to keep their earnings, student loans, etc, so make it a credit union. Achieva offers outstanding benefits in our Checking + account, including shopping rewards, cell phone insurance, and 30,000 surcharge free ATMs. That means no giving away your money to corporate institutions when you just need pizza money.
Even if you’re a freshman just starting college, the bottom line is that you’re an adult. Creating a college student budget plan for your life now will change your entire experience with money in the future. Just the same as earning your degree, a little hard work always pays off.