It’s that time of year — time to get back into the groove of going to class, doing homework and trying to manage a part-time job for some. What it also means is no more extra cash — every penny counts when you’re in college, right? Let’s take a look at some tips to help you get the most out of every dollar you have.
Tip #1: Remember why you’re there. Your focus is on getting an education, not buying the “latest and greatest” toy online, or getting a latte every morning like you may have done while you were working over the summer. Your first question should always be: “Is this going to help me be a better student?”
Tip #2: Write down everything you spend. Did you buy your season ticket pass for sporting events? Write that down. Did you buy lunch at the local café? Write it down. Whatever it is you spend — big or small — write it down. Then, you can really get a good grasp of your spending habits and make adjustments where necessary. They even have apps for this; find one that fits your lifestyle.
Tip #3: Avoid using credit. While establishing credit in college is a good thing to do, you need to be careful not to spend more than you earn. So, if you are not earning anything right now, then you really need to stick to a manageable budget using the funds you have saved over the summer. Don’t say, “I’ll pay for this later.” Odds are, you won’t. And, then you’ll have debt to worry about as well as getting good grades. That’s not a good mix for anyone!
The more responsible you are as a college student, the better your start will be for the rest of your life. Sure, you’re supposed to have fun and live a little while in college, but be smart. Don’t mortgage your future with poor money decisions now. For more information about how to establish a budget or other money management tips, click here.