Numerous college students face this question on a daily basis. There are many college students that are on a tight budget and are unsure of how they will be able to make their money spread to cover their expenses while their attending school.
So, you’re probably wondering how can I manage my money as a college student? Well, you can consider using some of these tips to help you manage your money while you’re attending college:
Consider setting up a budget that includes all of your income such as: college scholarships, grants, student loans, monies received from parents, relatives, friends; earnings you may receive from a job, etc….
You will also want to add all of your expenses to your budget which may include the following: tuition, housing fees, college book expenses, utility bills, internet and phone expenses, food, laundry, etc… Try to break down your budget based on how you attend college on either a semester or quarterly basis.
Track your spending. It’s important to stay abreast of how you’re spending your money to make any adjustments you may need to make along the way. Remember those lattes, pizzas, extra snacks and miscellaneous expenses could really add up over time.
Monitor and watch the spending on your credit cards if you have any. Use credit cards and credit sparingly. Keep in mind you don’t need to max out your credit lines just because you can. It’s probably a good idea when you use your credit card to be prepared to pay it off as soon as possible after incurring the expense to your credit.
Consider purchasing your college books online instead of your college bookstore. That’s right, compare prices. You may find that it is much cheaper purchasing your text books online. Check to see if your college textbooks are available at Amazon, Ebay’s Half.com or other college textbook online store websites. Just make sure you have secured the title of your college textbook, author name and edition you will be using for your college classes.
You may want to consider looking at purchasing used college textbooks to save you money as well while you’re going to school. In many cases you can find college textbooks that are used and in great condition that may save you lots of money in the long run instead of purchasing a brand new book.
There may also be an option for you to rent your college textbooks as well. This is becoming a new avenue for college students these days, so consider checking into this online or via your school. Just be sure to determine whether or not it will be cheaper for you to rent your book or just purchase a used college textbook that you can either keep or sale back via your school or the online textbook store you purchased your book from or elsewhere.
Keep an emergency fund by saving your change. Yes by saving your change this can assist you with having an emergency fund if something important comes up and you need extra money. The easiest way to have an emergency fund on a tight college budget is by saving your change.
Pay your bills timely and consider setting up a payment calendar to notate when your bills are due. By paying your bills timely this will assist you in building and maintaining your credit while you’re attending college. You will probably find that by having a payment calendar this may provide you with visual reinforcement of when your bills are due. Consider using either a paper or electronic calendar.
Be sure to use your student id to get all the discounts you’re entitled to as a college student. You will be surprised at the amount of money you can save as a student. By the way, don’t be afraid to ask if a student discount is offered at the places you go.
If you’re having difficulty meeting your college expenses don’t be afraid to ask for help from your parents, relatives, friends or your college financial aid department. It’s better to ask for help then not to ask. You will never know what help may be available to you if you don’t ask for it.
Make sure to add into your budget a little room for some fun money. That’s right, everyone needs to have a little fun and enjoy themselves sometime by taking in a movie, dinner, concert, etc… I think you get the picture, just have some fun.