How to Become a Baller Budgeter

Money: a topic that makes everyone uncomfortable, especially struggling college students. It can be hard to find a way to budget that actually works for you, but it's even harder to stick to it. College is all about learning, so why not find a way to make a budget work for you? Here are a few different budgeting tips that can make all the difference in your bank account!

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  1. Make a budget- I know this is a lot easier said than done but there are so many easy ways to create a budget. First, determine your monthly income. For those of you that are servers, calculate your average amounts of tips per night. Typically, you want to aim low for income and aim high for expenses. This makes it easier when you budget. I like to round my expenses up, that way when it comes time to pay my bills, I have more in my account than what I thought I would.  
  2. Get the app- There are so many budgeting apps out there and they work! I recently got two different budgeting apps. Goodbudget allows me to submit all of my bills for the month (which I always round up on), so I know what bills I have to look forward to for that month. Most of the time it stays the same, but if I have a weekend get away or a high sorority bill for the month, then I am able to account for the money that I will need. My other app is called Spending Tracker. I put all of my transactions in this app. I also put the money I have coming in, so any checks I get throughout the month. You are able to see what you spend the most on and what you still need to pay. I am a visual person so both of these apps help me figure out what my monthly budget should look like. 
  3. Cut down expenses- Do you really need that $5 Dunkin Donuts coffee every morning? My guess is going to be no! While it is okay to spoil yourself every once in awhile, you shouldn't do it every day. Invest in a coffee maker and make yourself a cup of joe before you leave in the morning. You will save so much more money by doing it at home. Start buying groceries and cooking at home as well. I know it is so much easier to go through the Cookout drive-thru, but it is better than spending $10 a meal, per day. 
  4. Start a Savings Account- Starting a savings account! You never know when you will have an emergency like a flat tire, but that savings account could be your safety net to getting a new one. After you have figured out all of your bills and budget for the month, calculate how much could be put in your savings. You should try to put 10-20% of your check into savings each time. It may seem like a lot, especially if your check is only a couple hundred dollars, but this will add up in your savings quick. Another little thing I do to save is keep a piggy bank. It sounds silly but it works. I put all of my change and loose dollar bills in a mason jar. I cash it in when it is completely full and that is my "treat myself" money. I try my best not to spend money on myself until my jar is full. 
  5. Stick to it- It may be a few months before you find the right budgeting plan for you but you need to stick to it! Don't go on a huge shopping spree with the girls because you made such good tips the night before. Put it where it really needs to go. There may be times where you do slip up and that's okay. Budgeting is a learning process and it's better to learn it now than later in life. 

These are just a few tips to help you become the baller budgeter in college! Just find what works best for you. I am a visual person, so using apps and watching my money jar really helps me see what I am spending and saving. Remember, don't be too hard on yourself but try your best to stick to it.