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8 Ways to Budget and Save Money as a College Student

8 Ways to Budget and Save Money as a College Student

Best Ways to Budget and Save Money as a College Student - If you’re a college student, you’re probably used to spending money on things that don’t really matter — like pizza, movies, and ice cream. You might even be able to afford those things without constantly worrying about money. But as your first year of college progresses, expenses start to add up and you might not know where your next dollar is coming from. 

This can make life stressful and difficult to deal with on a regular basis. However, if you learn how to budget and save money as a college student, it shouldn’t be too rough for long. Here are some great resources for helping you manage your finances as a student.


1. Start with a free Money Management Tool

If you want to be able to easily see where all of your money is going, you should set up a budgeting and savings tool. Even if you use something free like Mint.com or Google Keep, you’ll be able to see what you’re spending money on, where it’s coming from, and how much it’s costing you. 

This will help you realize right away any areas where you could be spending more than you need to and give you an idea of where you might be able to save money. The internet is filled with budgeting and money management tools, so you’ll have no trouble finding one that works for your specific needs. 

However, there are a few features you should look for when choosing one. One important feature is how easy it is to share your budget with your family and friends, so that they can see how much you’re spending and help you out where they can.


2. Set a consistent date for your financial goals

Another important way to start budgeting is to set a consistent date for your financial goals. This will help you stay focused and prevent you from all over spending money every time you have a little in your pocket. Set a date a few months out and make a commitment to yourself that you will not spend any of your money on anything other than your financial goals. Once you make that commitment, it will be much easier to stay focused on your financial goals and not get sidetracked with everything else you might have in your head.


3. Always pay yourself first

When you make any money, the first thing you should do is put it away in savings. Even if you have to take out a loan to make that money work for you, pay yourself first. Putting money away for later can help you when you’re in a jam or want to take a trip to California or another far-off place. It also has the added benefit of building up some good credit and providing you with a little bit of extra money when you need it.


4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

While it can be embarrassing to ask your parents for money when you’re a college student, it doesn’t have to be. Being comfortable with asking your parents for help when you need it will go a long way towards helping you manage your money as well. You might be surprised at what your parents are willing to help you with when you ask nicely. It might be something as simple as payment for a class or an upcoming trip.


5. Get a roommate or find an affordable place to live

In your first year of college, you’re more than likely without a car or any other big financial commitment. That means living at home or with a friend or roommate could be very affordable. And if you don’t have a car, that also means a lot fewer expenses. 

So, for example, if you live with a friend, you don’t need to buy gas to go with them to their house. So, living at home can be very affordable and it can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you can’t afford to move out on your own, you might be able to get a roommate.


6. Learn how to cook and buy street food

Learning how to cook can save you a lot of money on meals. And, if you’re living at home, you can save even more on food by learning how to cook some meals at home. There are many online resources that can teach you how to cook at a basic level. You can also look for a cooking class on your college campus or nearby community college. 

In addition to cooking at home, you can also buy street food, instead of eating at restaurants all the time. That doesn’t mean you should go out and try to cook the same foods yourself, but that you can find street vendors that sell some very economical meals.


7. Make your campus more affordable by shopping on-line and at REI

When you’re budgeting and saving money, you should always keep in mind the extra costs associated with going to college. And when you’re thinking about how to save money, you should also keep in mind where you can cut costs. 

First, you should always shop through the online Marketplace at your school. This will help you save on textbooks and other school supplies, which tend to be very expensive. Also, try to stick to items that don’t have a high sticker price, such as food and clothing.


8. Final Thoughts

Budgeting is an important financial skill to have as a college student, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to learn how to budget and save money. You just need to follow these three steps, and you’ll be well on your way. 

So, once you get started, you’ll be able to easily see where your money is going, and how you can save some money and have more money in your pocket at the end of the month.

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