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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at C of C chapter.

Money plays a big factor in how people navigate the world and when you are in college money is constantly on your mind. For me, budgeting in college has been an interesting experience. Though I am not one to spend money on the latest trends, I am a sucker for spending money on food and snacks. However, money starts to add up causing me to reevaluate what my money goes towards. In all my research and putting these things into practice, I have been able to see a difference in my spending habits. Although I am far from a finance expert, these are just some small changes that I have made financially that have made a big difference.

Make a Realistic Budget

You do not have to make extreme sacrifices unless it is absolutely necessary. Decreasing your spending by 25 dollars adds up over time. This could mean not buying that new top that you see or going to a dining hall or cooking at home instead of eating out. If you are able to establish a budget early on, it is quicker to adjust. Of course, these adjustments change from person to person depending on other outside factors. You can also set goals for how much you want to save by the end of the month as a motivator to keep up with your budget.

Be mindful of spending

It is so easy to get caught up and swipe your card for any and every purchase. Instead, write down all of your spending habits so you can visualize where the bulk of your money is going. Though cash is not used as much due to the pandemic and needing exact change, it is still useful for trying to create a good budget. When you pay in physical cash, you become more aware of the amount you started with and the money you have left. On the flip side of this, cash can be thought of as fun money for a particular week or month that you take out and strictly use that for going out.

Use discounts

I can not tell you how many times I have neglected asking after a student discount while out on the town. Asking restaurants and stores if they take student discounts can take anywhere between 5% to 50% off a purchase depending on the store. With so many apps meant for student discounts, you can always have one available to you. Moreover, using coupons and discount search extensions like honey can also give you great deals with making purchases.

Ayanna Burgess is a junior at the College of Charleston, pursuing a degree in Communication. A native of South Carolina, Ayanna enjoys finding the best restaurants in town, browsing around local record shops, and writing poetry.