Budgeting tips for college students

Budgeting 101

Are you a college student feeling financially restricted? Looking for ways to reduce spending? Follow these five tips and start budgeting like a pro!

Monthly income: Budgeting starts with knowing how much income you have coming in each month. Typically, your monthly funds will come from full or part-time jobs, monthly allowances from parents, grants, etc.

Calculate Expenses: Create a list of everything that you spend each month. Include things like your cell phone bill, car payment, insurance payment, gas, groceries, student loans, gym memberships, Netflix or Spotify subscriptions etc. Laying your expenses out in front of you will help you to understand exactly where your money is going each month.

Priority Expenses: When budgeting it may be difficult to differentiate between what you need versus what you would like to have. Priority expenses are bills that need to be paid, no matter what. These types of expenses include costs such as rent, car payments, groceries, etc.

Cut Costs: Eliminating unnecessary expenses when possible is key. Consider cutting back on eating out, or meeting friends for that $5 cup of coffee. There are ways to have fun while in college without breaking the bank. To name a few, Host a movie night, keep your student id handy for discounted rates at certain businesses & make sure to keep an eye out for your college’s student activities. Get CREATIVE!

Emergency Fund: Life will sometimes take an unexpected turn. Budgeting is not just for spending. Setting aside a little from each paycheck will add up quickly for those unexpected expenses.

Now the hard part starts. Sticking to the budget. Stay on track & hold yourself accountable. Following your budget will not only create strong financial habits, but lifelong goals.