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How To: Avoid Being a Broke College Student

Are you balling on a budget? We got you covered.

No matter how hard you work over the summer and during the school year, college seems to completely drain your bank account. College students are paying for food, supplies, school, and occasionally transportation. How can you track and save your money?

  • List Your Monthly Expenses

This is one of the most important steps. There are certain purchases you cannot live without, like food or water. Make a list of everything you absolutely need to buy, calculate that total and set it aside.

  • Journaling

If you’re not into banking apps, grab your notebook and make it your brand new ledger. Take careful notes of what you’re spending on each month and what your balance is each month. For a more detailed approach, make detailed lists of what you’re actually spending your money on each month. You can use that as a guide to see where you’re spending too much money and where you’re spending just enough. 

  • Utilize Banking Apps

Many banking apps provide their customers with already made detailed lists of how much you’re earning per month, how much you’re spending, and where you’re spending your money. It’s easier than creating your own ledger and allows you to see the comparison between what you earn and what you spend. 

  • Look For Cheaper Alternatives

Whether you’re buying clothes or textbooks, there’s always a way to save money. When buying books for school, look for ones that are used or are free online. It’s also helpful to look for college discounts for students on things like computer programs, Amazon Prime, retail stores, etc. 

  • Setting Small, Weekly Limits

Each week, make a small but manageable goal for how much you’re going to spend that week. Make sure you’re accounting for how much you need for your typical expenses. The first-time budgeting may not be perfect, it’s important to create a balanced budget between your necessities and your college life.

Budgeting isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. Now’s your chance to stop panicking at the end of the month and start being proactive about your money and spending habits.

Julia Merola is a freshman journalism major at Temple University. She’s currently focusing on campus lifestyle articles. In her spare time, you can find her reading, writing poetry, or trying the newest online workout challenge.
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