College is expensive. Especially for young women. There are so many things we require in addition to books, school supplies, and tuition. This includes maintaining our physical appearance, shopping, food, toiletries, off campus entertainment, and bills. As a freshman in college, all of these expenses combined really forced me to sit and reassess my spending habits. Here is a list of tips I’ve put together for managing your money while in college.
- Use an app or write down a budget
Unfortunately, budgeting is an aspect of young adulthood that school doesn’t always focus on. It is up to you how much you decide to spend. Budgeting will illustrate precisely the amount of money you have and where you can spend it.
- Practice Moderation
Spending in moderation will help you stay on a tight budget. Although it is nice to splurge on food and clothes sometimes, doing it consecutively might leave you broke. Ask yourself things like, “do I really need to eat out every day?”or “is buying a new outfit for every event really worth it?” Exercising moderation when it comes to unnecessary spending will work wonders when it comes to saving.
- Network with people on campus
I know some women in college enjoy, or are accustomed to, going to a professional in regards to cosmetics. Finding a quality, reasonable hair or nail salon may be too taxing on your budget. If you live on or near campus, I suggest you get to know the other ladies staying in your building. They might know places that fall within your budget or specialize in the cosmetic field that you require as a side hustle. This is an effective way to make friends and look cute on a budget.
- Even if it’s not much, start saving something
Due to colleges’ seemingly endless amount of expenses, it may seem impossible to save money, but it is incredibly beneficial. Saving is more than just being prepared for an emergency. It will engender a healthy habit that you will need in the future – after school. Even starting small by setting aside five dollars weekly, or saving spare change is better than not saving at all. If online banking is preferred, apps like Digit are helpful as well.
- Avoid student loans if possible
Year after year, college students, including myself, get caught up in taking out student loans. Scholarship resources such as fastweb.com and the Scholly app offer so many opportunities to gain free money. There are other resources right there on your college campus as well! Take advantage of them.