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How to Budget in College

I think we all can agree that college is expensive. But, going to college in one of the most expensive cities in the world can be a damper on your bank account. Saving money in college is already hard as is, but can you imagine saving in New York City? Here are some tips on how to make you and your bank account smile. 

Tip One: Keep Records of Your Expenses

The first tip to budgeting would be to keep records of your expenses. It’s important you write down each transaction you make to keep track of how much you are spending. This step will help you figure out whether what you’re spending money is necessary. Downloading an app like Mint or Daily Budget can help you to keep track. You can either calculate how much is being transferred to your account, or withdrawn from your account. You can also categorize your expenses into groceries, going out expenses, general shopping, and etc.

Tip 2: Set a Limit on What You Can Spend

The second tip would be to set a daily or weekly limit on what you can spend. If you strictly spend on your credit card, you can set your spending to a certain amount of money to avoid costly bills. It’s easier said than done but try to limit the amount of money you spend in any timely fashion. For example, try to limit your expenses on food to about $50 a day. Or, take out a certain amount of cash each week so you can break away from the addicting convenience that your credit or debit card gives you. 

Tip 3: Opt for Night Ins

As difficult as it is for some, try to skip out on a night out. It’s tough, especially in the Big Apple, to want to skip out on a fun night out. I know I sure get a severe case of FOMO when I have to stay in, but those last-minute Uber rides, late-night eats, and other charges aren’t going to do your bank account any good. If you are going to go out, try splitting expenses or being a little extra careful with what you spend. 

Tip 4: Eat In Rather than Eat Out

Another helpful way to help your budget is to eat in rather than eat out. Eating out is a pretty outstanding experience in New York City. Eating out gives you a chance to try foods of all cuisines, hang out and catch up with your friends, and of course, spend ridiculous amounts of money. It sucks when temptations surround you, but it sucks even more for your bank account. Instead of splurging on one fancy meal, try using that money for groceries to make home-cooked meals. 

These are just a few ways you can budget, but there are plenty of more options and creative ways to help save yourself money. College is expensive around the nation between tuition fees, books, room, and board. But, people tend to overlook our expenses and how they directly affect our bank accounts. It’s easy to go from being able to afford everything to nothing at all in as little as a day. That’s why it’s important to spend and take up smart budgeting habits carefully.

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Currently a Junior at New York University studying English literature and Creative Writing. Loves a good book, cheap fitness classes, and a lava cake here and there.
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