4 Ways To Create a Budget and Make Extra Cash

Recently I have experienced the broke-college-student lifestyle that I have always heard about. Freshman year of college is a great time to save money because most students live in a dorm, have a meal plan, and walk to class. Being a sophomore, on the other hand, is financially tolling as new expenses introduce themselves. You now have to worry about paying rent, monthly bills, buying groceries, and so much more. Below are some ways I have handled my monthly budgeting while also making a little extra cash without clocking in at work.  

 

   1) Determine your biweekly or monthly income:

I am a working student, so I usually have a small, steady income I can work with for the month.  

⧫ First, you should determine how many hours you are working for the month and calculate how much you expect to be paid (don’t forget to account for taxes). 

⧫ I find it helpful to use a whiteboard calendar and write in paydays and shifts at work.

 

   2) Next, you should breakdown the essential costs of the month:

⧫ This should include potential rent costs and utilities such as electricity, water, gas, and internet.  

⧫ Costs that students tend to forget when calculating bills and essential spending include gas money (if you have a car on campus) and recurring monthly entertainment subscriptions. I found that I was spending around $40 a month on services such as Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime (reduced student costs are almost always available).  

Extra Credit: If you want to go the extra mile, I have set up an automatic transfer of money into my savings 2x a month that happens as soon as I get paid. By doing this, I am less likely to realize the money has left my account and will have emergency savings at all times.  

 

   3) The fun (or not so fun) part of seeing how much spending money you have for the month:

⧫ After you determine all costs necessary for the month, you can determine how much money you will have left-over for non-essential costs.  For me, this includes things such as eating out, over-priced iced coffee, clothes (sometimes), and last-minute plans with friends.  

Side Note: Stop paying for Uber eats.  A sandwich that might cost $7 can easily reach $20 on a delivery app after service fees, delivery fees, tax, and tip.  Most of the time, the restaurant is within walking distance if you live downtown.  

 

   4) Making extra money without picking up an extra shift!

⧫ The last step is helpful if you find that your spending money is scarce or you need extra help in paying bills.  

⧫ If you have clothes/shoes/makeup that you don’t wear or use anymore, you can use resale apps, such as Poshmark or Mercari, to make quick money. There were times when I would only sell a few items and end up with an extra $300 in the bank.