4 Tips for Managing Money in College

It can be hard to balance your time in college being a full-time student, let alone trying to balance your finances. These are some of the basic tips I have found to be super helpful in my everyday life, and I'm sure they can be implemented into your life as well!

Look at your current spending

The first thing I always do at the end of the month is to sit down and look at my bank statement. Next, I open up a spreadsheet and start putting expenses into categories. I then look at what I spent the most on that month. Was it food? Clothing? Coffee? Maybe going to the bars? When you finally sit down and look at all of those $5 drinks you got from Starbucks you really see it start to add up!

Separate what you want and what you need

This is where I decide what really matters to me. For me, I am not provided meals on the weekends so ordering food is a need for me. But, I also know that going to Starbucks is a want and I am able to make coffee at home for a lot cheaper, even if it does require a little more effort.

Decide if an on-campus job is right for you

Personally, I have a part-time job on campus that is perfect for me. It is between four to six hours a week, so it's not a huge time commitment, but it is enough to provide my going out and eating out money for the week. Any extra money I make from my campus job I try to put away into a different account for larger items, like concert tickets. By always having a little extra money on the side, I am always prepared for any emergency that could come my way - even a cracked phone screen! Check around campus for some exciting job opportunities because not only is it a little extra cash, it's also some job experience that looks awesome on your resume.

Create a budget

Having a budget in college is something that is definitely necessary. There are a ton of apps out there that can be super helpful with tracking your spending, but if you have a little extra time on your hands you could do what I do. I lay everything out in a spreadsheet and decide how much I want to spend on things that month. If I know I want to buy a new semi-formal dress that month, I will add some money to my clothing expense and take some away from a different place, like going out. Being able to control your spending - and maybe even save a little for your future - is super important for any college student.

 

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