Following a budget is always important if you wish to save money or simply avoid overspending. College students aren’t an exception: it’s the perfect time in life to learn how to budget and make your attendance cheaper at the same time!
Why is it so important to have and stick to a budget? It’s a money-saving tool that will help you control your spendings. The goal isn’t to avoid purchasing things you like, but rather do it consciously and keeping some money for other necessary expenses.
The first thing you need to do is take a look at your current expenses. Check your bills and receipts in order to see where your money ends up. Sometimes, you forget how much you’re spending on each transaction, especially if you make small purchases where you spend little money and you also don’t keep track of them.
Next, it’s important to know where you can’t cut back on costs. For example, it’ll be hard to lower your rent or your college tuition. Yes, you can negotiate your rent and look for scholarships and grants, but it doesn’t need to be the place to start. Before stressing about these costs, take a look at those where it’s easier to save money.
It’s much simpler to save money on groceries or clothing. One idea for the first aspect would be to plan your meals, but there are many others that’ll help you. You should set an amount of money as the total that you wish to spend on each category. Keep in mind that it should be realistic; not low enough for it to be impossible and not high enough for it to stop helping you save money.
Always remember to pay your cards on time. This should also count as a first-priority expense. It’ll help you build a solid credit history, which can help you a lot when you wish to save money on interest and other purchases in the future. Here are more things you should consider when building good credit from scratch!
The moment you get your paycheck or receive any other income, you should set aside a portion of it for your fixed expenses. As said before, it should match your spending goals. You can then use what’s left for savings or one-time expenses. There are budgeting apps that can help you manage your money!
You can also implement the 50/30/20 rule, a famous budgeting tool! Here’s more information about it.