Budget Busting: Do’s And Don’ts Of Paying Bills

 

Having to pay bills isn’t fun, but it’s a part of life. Although some are able to have their parents help with all or most of their bills throughout college, not all of us are so lucky. Between tuition, rent, and other bills (phone, car, etc.), it can be pretty overwhelming! Ultimately, you can’t avoid paying bills each month, but here are a couple of tips to make sure you save money and are prepared in the long run:

DO set money aside each month (or maybe for an entire semester, if possible) for your most important bills 
Rent, cell phone, tuition and books are probably the most important if you pay for those yourself. If you buy groceries on a consistent basis, and you spend about the same amount of money each time you go, feel free to add that to the list, too. To set aside this money, you can put it in a savings account and you’ll know that you can’t touch it.

DON'T spend all the spare money you have left on non-essential items 
It’s okay to spend some of it to treat yourself every once in a while, but you’ll want to make sure you have enough money in case of an emergency because one can (and probably will) come up during the semester. You’ll want to be prepared.

DO pay bills on time
Try to stick to this suggestion as best as possible. You don’t want to pay an extra $50 or more just because you forgot to turn in your rent money on time. You also don’t want to have your phone turned off because you didn’t pay your bill when it was due. Write it down on your calendar and your agenda, and save a reminder on your phone to make sure you never forget.

DON'T just pay the minimum 
You might think you can just pay the minimum of $25 on your credit card bill and pay the other $500 off later, but you’re not doing yourself any favors. It’ll actually cost you more in the long run because most banks charge interest each month you go without paying off the entire amount, so try to avoid doing this if you can help it.

I hope these tips help you keep up with your budget! Next time, I’ll be talking about a couple of different ways to save money on groceries.