How to Budget in College

College is all about being able to find a balance and the first thing to balance always is your bank account.

Budgeting is the number one way to save money while in college, because let’s be honest, we are not as financially stable and financially smart as we would like to be. Here are some tips to help you budget yourself:

1. Stop eating out all the time.

Trust me, I understand that the food on campus is not as good as the food from Chipotle or Cookout, but make use of your meal plan. You have one for a reason. The food may not always taste good, but take some veggies home, some rice and make your own food in your dorm or your apartment.

 

Add a sauce and some other ingredients here and there and you can make your very own stir fry. The money that you spend eating out adds up tremendously and most of the time you can finish the food in one sitting instead of being able to save the food and eat it another time.

 

2. Look for coupons and use your student ID.

Coupons are a life saver. There are coupons for clothes, food, and other materials you might need. When there is a major sale, you need to jump on that bandwagon as soon as they come around.

 

They can help a lot when you are racking up at the store and need to bring that price all the way down because you are about to overspend the amount that your parents gave you. Using your student ID, there are plenty of clothing and grocery stores that cater to students, even restaurants. For example, if you use your student ID at Chipotle you will get a free drink, that’s clutch.

 

3. Have a set limit.

For the month or week that your parents or your paycheck deposit into your account, be sure to set a limit that is reasonable. If you are going to the store, buy stuff that you really need and stuff that will benefit you.

 

Do not buy unrealistic stuff that you do not need or won’t use. Have a set limit for the things that you want to do on the weekends. For example, if you go skating this weekend, you will not go skating next weekend.

 

Have some self-control when it comes to limiting yourself and what you will do at school. I totally understand that you want to have fun, but having fun costs a certain amount of money, sometimes more and sometimes less, so just be careful and plan accordingly.

 

4. Find a side hustle

If you can do hair, make-up, cleaning services, baking, or any random thing that can get you some money in your pocket and you know that will create a profit, do it and ask your friends to put you out there so people know you’re available for the services you are trying to give. It may not be hourly money but it is something.

 

5. Treat yourself

After all that hard work of budgeting and stopping yourself from buying everything under the sun, go have a good time. I understand that the week was rough, and that you want to enjoy yourself for the weekend.

 

Find things that have sales, deals for students, or just find places that do not charge an arm and a leg and go have a good time. You deserve it after a hard week or month of budgeting. Save up for that one big thing.

 

I understand that being a college student is hard. Asking money from your parents is not what you want to do and getting a job can be risking because your schedule could be unpredictable.

 

I understand, I have been there. Try to get a job on campus, and if that does not work try to find a job that only has you working weekends, that will not take you away from your studies, but try to remember your parents are there to support you. I love having my own money, but it is okay to ask for some every once in a while. Just remember some of these tips and mind your spending and you will make it.