If you’re currently at college, the struggle is real. You may start your day with positive attitude, but you’ll definitely face some stress throughout the day.
First and foremost, you have to find a balance between your studies and social life. But those are not the only things to balance out. Your budget needs some art of balancing as well. You have great expenses but limited income. How do you handle this?
Let’s go through the seven most important things to do in order to create a balanced budget plan for college.
1. Make a Diligent Plan of Your Expenses
When you’re at college, you have fixed expenses to cover each month. More or less, you know how high these expenses are. You need to create a clear list that includes all of them. Next to each item, set a fixed budget that should cover that expense.
Here’s an example of such a list:
- Accommodation and food (dorm room plus daily menus) – $850
- Public transport – $100
- Books and other studying material – $80
- Bills (cable, internet, phone…) – $100
- Insurance and medical care – $50
- And so on.
2. Plan the Savings, Too
If you want to be efficient in budgeting, you won’t spend every single dollar you have for the month. You’ll set something aside, so you’ll contribute towards a more enjoyable and productive summer.
Do your best to set at least $50 aside each month. If you have unexpected expenses, you can allow yourself to “borrow” from this money. But do not spend it on clothes and parties!
3. Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
You want a healthy lifestyle and more money in your wallet? The first thing you need to do is limit alcohol consumption. Don’t spend money on it and don’t drink it. Of course you’re allowed to have a beer at a party, but having control over yourself and over the money you spend is essential.
4. Don’t Get that Credit Card
Do you know why banks offer credit cards to college students? – They make money that way. It’s not because they want to help you out. It’s all about profit for them. If you’re not careful with credit, it will be all about loss for you.
If it’s absolutely necessary for you to get a credit card in college, be very careful with it. Get one that has a low interest rate and no annual fee.
5. Cancel the Subscriptions You Don’t Need
It’s great to pay for Spotify Premium or another service that you really like. It’s great to subscribe to a great service that offers online yoga classes. But you know what? You can find free alternatives for most things you’re subscribing to.
Instead of paying for music, why don’t you listen to it via YouTube? You can also find free YouTube classes for yoga, cardio fitness, or any other type of exercise.
When it comes to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and similar services, choose a single one! You don’t need multiple streaming services. For the one you choose, you can share the membership with a friend or family member.
6. Only Buy the Things You Need
The grocery store is a dangerous place. It lures you into buying all kinds of things you don’t really need. That’s why it’s important to go there with a list. Plan what you need to buy and get only those items when you’re there.
7. Buy Used Textbooks
Textbooks cost a lot of money. A single one may cost hundreds of dollars, depending on the courses you take. You can save a great chunk of your budget if you buy used textbooks via Amazon or AbeBooks. Plus, you can sell your old ones.
College is draining on your financial resources. Even if you have enough money to get through without any struggles, it’s still important to learn how to save. Budgeting is an important skill to learn, and this is the best time of your life to practice it.
|Barbara Mitchell was an elementary school teacher who did some blogging on the side. It wasn’t long after that she realized that her life had another purpose – to share an enormous amount of expertise on how to lead a blog, which is what she now does on daily basis.