Budgeting 101 for College Students

We all have trouble with managing our money at times, and it seems that it’s always the hardest to handle when there isn’t very much of it. This is usually the case for most college students, which is why it’s especially important that they know how to scrape by, or even find a nice comfortable place financially if at all possible. Here is some budgeting 101 for college students.

Reduce Food Costs

Most college students don’t have a lot of expenses or a very complicated cash flow, but it can be hard to keep track of when you just start managing your own money. What you’ll find is that the majority of your spending cash gets spent on food, so the more you can reduce your food costs, the more money you could save overall. It’s a good idea to compare and contrast all of your different food options and their prices so that you can come up with a food budget that works for you.

Track Your Expenses

You want to try to organize all of your spendings into different categories of expenditures. When you look at your bank statement, you should be able to pick out food, clothing, transportation, school supplies, etc. When you look at these expenses, you want to add them up and organize them into their respective categories. From there you can see how much you’re spending and where you can pose limits for yourself.

Use a Budgeting Application

There are all kinds of applications these days that you can use to track your expenses so that you don’t have to add everything up yourself. These applications are connected to your bank account so that every time you use your debit or credit card, it will categorize the expenditure for you and you can see where all of your money is going very clearly. Even if you go to Maryville University or George Washington University, these kinds of life skills won’t be taught in your lower-division curriculum, so you’re going to have to teach yourself.

Ride a Bike

You can definitely cut down your transportation costs if you get yourself a bike. This is obviously also a great way to stay in shape. But it makes perfect sense because you won’t be able to drive a car your freshman year, and you will be traveling fairly long distances each day on foot, so you may as well get there much faster. You can also avoid having to wait for buses or renew your bus pass because you won’t need any of it.

Buy Used

If you’re on a small budget in college, then you’re going to have to buy used as often as possible. The great thing about it, though, is that college kids are always moving and trying to get rid of things between moves, so you can find just about anything used on Craigslist in a college town. This goes for everything from laptop cords, to computer speakers, to textbooks, to furniture. If you want to save a lot of money, you should always buy used.