Being out on your own and managing your own expenses while enjoying the fun that college life offers can be challenging. You won’t be dealing with a parent nagging you for shopping or going out in parties which definitely means that it’s very easy to just throw out your money for unnecessary stuff and end up being broke even before the month ends. This won’t happen though if you know how to budget your money correctly. To help you with that, here are 8 budgeting tips to keep your college allowance steady while enjoying the perks of college life.
1. Set simple and realistic goals.
Budgeting is like dieting, the more you are realistic with your goals, the more you will be able to stick to it. Starting with knowing how much money you’ll have coming in every month and how much you think you will be spending. Don’t set a big amount of budget for your savings when you know in your heart that it’s impossible. Just be simple and realistic.
2. Create a budget for different spending categories.
There are fixed expenses that generally stay the same every month and there are also some that can change from time to time like groceries or eating out. It’s better to set a realistic budget for those things to avoid overspending.
3. Always set a budget for emergency.
Having an emergency fund for unexpected circumstances such as medical bills or car repair is very important. You’ll never know what’s gonna happen every month so it’s imperative that you have an extra fund for that to avoid using your credit card or borrowing money in cases of emergency.
4. Don’t forget the “fun money”.
Budgeting doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself of the fun that college life has! Just make sure that you spend within your means. Set a budget for this to give yourself a time to enjoy and relax.
5. Know the difference between “wants” and “needs”.
Knowing the difference between these two by heart will guide you in your spending habits. Always go back to your budget, if you see that there’s money left over then you can spend money on your wants. But NEEDS always, always come first!
6. Record all your transactions.
Every dollar or even penny should be accounted. By doing this, you will really be able to see where all your money is going and assess your spending habits.
7. Keep all receipts and bills organized.
File all bills and receipts and organize them together in one place so that it will be easy for you to retrieve information in cases of dispute or if you want to track your spending history. Also, this will come handy when it’s tax season.
8. Review your budget at the end of every month.
Budgeting is also a case of trial and error, especially if you are new to living independently. Take time to sit and reevaluate your budget and spending for that specific month so you can assess your financial status. This way, you’ll know where to adjust and make necessary changes.