Financial management is essential for keeping up with everyday expenses. As a college or university student, you have multiple costs to consider, such as tuition and textbooks. So, here are some tips on how to manage your finances..
CREATE A BUDGET
The first step to financial management is coming up with a budget. This will help you to visualize all your expenses. Consider using an excel spreadsheet for better organization. Make sure to include your monthly income, required college payments, and entertainment expenses.
BUDGET FOR SAVINGS, SPLURGES AND SURPRISE
When setting up your budget, create a category for long-term expenses you have to save up for, such as any trips during your university time.. Also, have a category designed for costs related to activities you enjoy, such as eating out with friends.
Ensure you’re also setting aside money for emergencies or any unexpected costs. Consider putting away about three to six months’ worth of expenses for your emergency fund.
TRACK YOUR SPENDING
Once you create a budget, it is important to keep track of your spending habits. Record all your purchases for a month. This way, you can update and adjust your budget accordingly. To help keep track of your spending, you can use mobile apps, such as PocketGuard, or save your receipts.
USE CREDIT CARDS WISELY
You are able to build up credit using a credit card and this can be useful for big purchases such as flights as they will be protected against fraud and a whole range of other things (Google it and you’ll see!). The payments you make on a credit card are used to build up your credit score. By paying your bills on time, you can improve your credit score. You want to use only one low-limit credit card and only charge it for purchases already on your budget.
REVIEW YOUR BUDGET
Looking over your budget is important to remind you of your spending limits. Review your required and optional spending for that week. If you feel like you’re running low on payment cash, you may need to cut back costs somewhere.
To help save money on textbooks, consider buying them used or from a friend. To find better deals on supplies, consider looking on sites, such as Chegg or Amazon. Another way to preserve cash is to cook meals at home instead of purchasing expensive subscription meal plans. They may look easier on paper but they can burn a hole in your wallet!
Also, if you have free time in your schedule, consider getting a job on campus to save up some extra cash. This can be helpful when you’re paying bills in university.
When it comes to managing your finances, it can seem like a daunting task. However, creating a budget and tracking your spending can make the process simpler. Follow these tips to keep your spending under control and have a positive university experience!
Ginger Abbot is an education and learning writer, as well as the managing editor of Classrooms, a college and university site for students. Read more of her work on her author page.
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