For many students starting college is the first time they will be living away from home, which comes with a number of responsibilities and a great amount of change. Often students can find managing their money difficult and overwhelming but help is on hand with useful advice from Bestbudget.com. There many tips and tricks to help students that are living on a strict budget.
- Live within your monthly allowance
Work out each month how much you have to live on and this will allow you to calculate the amount you have to spend on essential items and how much you have left for activities and socialization. By being strict about your spending habits will ensure that you do not run out of money before the end of the month.
- Minimize student loans
Studying at college is an exciting time but is also expensive, so student loans are a great way of enabling kids to be able to go to college. However, student loans need to be paid back so to minimize your debt after college you should try to minimize the amount that you initially borrow. This can be achieved by careful budgeting and minimizing your cost of living using some of the ideas suggested below.
- Start saving
College can be expensive with fees for studying and the cost of living, so the sooner you can start saving the better. If you can save some money from each monthly allowance then this will provide you with a safety net if any unexpected bills arise. To get started you should work out a percentage of your allowance that you can put into your savings each month, which will prevent you from spending it. Anything you save at college can be useful for paying back your student debt.
- Minimize monthly outgoings
Your monthly allowance can be stretched further by reducing your cost of living. This may mean cancelling subscriptions for services that are not vital such as; movie subscriptions, gaming fees or satellite channels. You may also be able to decrease the amount that you spend on contracts such as; phone bills, which will allow you to minimize your fixed bills each month.
- Part time work
A part time job alongside your college studies is a great way of supplementing your monthly allowance with a regular income. This can allow you extra money for socializing with friends and is also a great way of starting to save for unforeseen bills or for repaying college debt.
- Use cash to prevent overspending
Card payments may be great for quickly paying for items but it can be easy to get carried away and spend too much. To prevent this from happening you could only use cash to pay for items when out shopping or out socializing. This will ensure that you do not go over your monthly budget.
- Student discounts
Being a student can have its benefits with many shops offering student discount. So when shopping you should take your student ID and ask for any discounts before purchasing. The money that you can save with these discounts can enhance your monthly allowance or be added to your savings.
- Only buy essential groceries
Frequently when grocery shopping we will buy items that we did not plan on buying and do not need. Often these extra items will go to waste meaning that the money spent on these items could have been used elsewhere. To ensure that your only buy items you need you should always write a shopping list to take with you. This will allow you to save money with each shop.
- Learn to cook
Eating out works out more expensive than cooking meals yourself and while it is nice to go out occasionally it makes good money sense to plan to make most meals yourself. If you plan meals in advance you can use up any leftover food making sure that nothing goes to waste. Any extra portions can be used as lunch the following day also saving on additional lunch fees. This is also a great opportunity for socializing as you can cook meals for your friends so there is money to be saved all round.
10. Use a budgeting app
Saving and budgeting does not have to be boring and you do not need to spend hours working out calculations. Instead you could try a budgeting app that will help you work out your spending limits with the quick inputting of data. This handy way of budgeting can be quickly adjusted as needed and you can have access to it at all times.