Watch my YouTube video that covers this topic here: Budgeting & Breaks
To be 100 percent honest, I am still learning how to finance. I am terrible at managing money—it is not something I am proud of. I’m not a math person and I am also an impulsive buyer. Those two traits combined have made budgeting a real struggle. But coming into college forced me to really consider how I spend money. I’ve learned a lot so far especially now that I am living off-campus. I love clothes, makeup and basically all of the stuff that a typical college girl loves to spend money on but I think I am finally starting to get a grip. I want to share what I have learned so far and what I am still learning.
Entering college you start to really grasp how much things cost. This is also the point in our lives when we start waning off of our parent’s funds and start to save our own money. When, and if, you live off-campus… Let me tell you, you become even more enlightened on the value of a dollar. Paying bills and splitting costs of basic household things with roommates is about as real as it gets at 20 years old.
Here are some of my tips/ what I have learned so far:
1) Get familiar with online banking.
If you are working over summer or winter break (and I HIGHLY recommend that you do), open up a checking and savings account and download the app (most banks have this) and start to keep track and get an idea on how much you are spending and what you are spending on in a given month.
2) If you can work, do it do it do it. Then save, save, save.
Each time I worked, I deposited 15 percent of my paycheck into my savings account. Even if you’re working way less than 15 hours a week, at least it’s something! And when you return home for break, having some money saved up will guaranteed be one of the best feelings ever.
3) Bring the only amount of cash you need when going out. Especially no credit cards!!
If you go out to the bars, a friends house, the mall– wherever, only bring CASH. We all know that especially when going out, you may get caught up in swiping your card whenever without even taking a second to think about what you’re spending. When I go out, I only bring $20 and most of the time I don’t even end up spending it all.
4) Do you NEED that vs. do you WANT that?
This is something that I struggle with, however, I have definitely gotten better. When figuring out if you should get something, do this: Go home and think about it. I bet that whatever you want, or think you need, will still be there the next day. You can always go back and grab it if you decide that you need it or truly think it will make your life better (but I bet you could probably live without it).