Everyone counts on being broke in college. Tuition is expensive and demanding studies don’t allow much time for work. Even though you may not be making much money in college, if you make good decisions with your money, you can come out ok. The ultimate way to save money in college is to make a budget.
Coming In and Going Out
To save money you have to know how much you have coming in and how much you have going out. You don’t want to come up short when it comes time to pay the bills each month. First, figure out how much you have coming in. Include scholarships, student loans, personal loans, and paychecks. Then, map out what goes out and when. Include items such as tuition, rent or room and board for dorms, textbooks, cell phone bills, and car payments. Now, figure out what you have left over. That is what you can use on eating out, buying groceries, clothes, entertainment, and savings.
As hard as it might be, don’t forget savings. Putting just a few dollars a month away for an emergency could really come in handy and keep you from racking up significant debt. You also don’t have to wait until you are out of college to start paying off your loans. If you have a little extra at the end of the month, make a payment. Those small payments can add up to a lot less money paid to interest over time.
Find Ways to Save
While you are at school it will be tempting to go out with friends and spend money on entertainment. It might cost you a lot in the long run if you run out of money to pay the bills. Instead of going out, share homemade meals. When you do go out, find free or discounted events. Your student id can help you score some great deals. Always ask if there is a student discount.
Skip the Debt
Having a budget will help you stay ahead of your bills. You will know exactly how much you can spend each month and you won’t face the stress of trying to come up with money when it is due. You can still have fun and live on a budget when you plan well. You don’t have to plan on mountains of debt to make it through college.