We all agree studying in college is an amazing experience, right? However most of the time we have to go through it while living on our own and money is usually a concerning topic. That’s why it is so important to learn how to manage your expenses so you don’t end up starving at the end of the month. These 4 tips will definitely save your life.
1. Plan your expenses
The first and the most important thing you should do is create a budget What are your monthly fixed costs? You must have a record of how much your rent is, how much do you usually spend in photocopies and books for college and, of course, how much money you need for food.
Once you know exactly how much money you need to cover these expenses, you’ll be able to compare it with your income and, depending on how much money you have left, you should create an emergency fund and save for personal expenses.
One of the WORST mistakes you can make is underestimating your monthly expenses, but don’t worry it’s normal to fail a little in the beginning (especially if it’s your first time on your own). Once you become more conscious about what you need and and make compromises, everything will be alright.
2. Be smart when buying stuff
Sometimes it’s really hard to resist sales at the market, we know. But remember: you’re not really saving money, you’re spending it. Take advantage of everything you already have at home before buying new stuff. Saving equals progress, don’t forget it.
And every time you go out to buy what you need compare prices until you find the cheapest one. You might think that a few cents can’t hurt anyone, but then you’ll have less money then you expected at the end of the month.
ATMs can become your enemy. Why? When you have more cash it’s more likely that you’ll spend it faster. So avoid withdrawing money as much as you can and start managing all your cash the smart way. Reducing the amount of money you carry with you can also help reduce the urge to spend it.
Calculate little luxuries, that coffee or chocolate you buy daily may notseem like much but if you add up all the money you spend monthly you’ll realize it is not as small as you thought it was. But wait! This doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself, try saving that money for a month and then buy yourself something nice.
Don’t forget to take advantage of student’s discounts! You’ll find special sales to buy whatever you need; actually most of the parks and bookstores have special prices for students. Go check that out!
3. Eat at home
Maybe one of the biggest expenses you can have in your student life is buying food out in restaurants, especially in fast food chains. It may seem like you’re saving a lot of money and I’m sorry to be bearer of bad news but you’re spending way more than you think.
There’s nothing like cooking your own food, not only it is better for your health but also for your finances. You’ll realize the supermarket is full of really nice and cheap food, pretty good deals and a wide variety according to what you like
And if you don’t believe it, do the math! Add up everything you spend eating in McDonald’s, KFC or your college cafeteria and compare it to what you spend cooking at home.
4. Travel cheap
Try depending lesson Uber or taxis every time you need to go out, it’s an expensive service and let’s be clear it’s not your only option for transport. Try walking short distances or get a bike! You’ll exercise while you get to your destination and save a lot of money (and plus you’ll escape traffic).
You can also use public transport or find out about the options your college might offer for transportation. The important thing here is searchingfornew alternatives to help you save more money.
So you can leave all excuses behind and manage more consciously your money if you want to survive college. You’ll see how your lifestyle improves and a lot of worries disappear. Try it!