Let’s face it. College life can be extremely fun and exciting, after class is over. Yet, if you do not have any funds to spend on your day-to-day expenses and outside entertainment, you may be stuck in your room studying for class involuntarily.
So, what’s the answer to this dilemma? For some of you, your restrictions may be linked to poor money management. Thus, if this is your problem, you can benefit from learning these 5 ways to manage your money when you’re a student.
1.Set a budget and track your expenses
Firstly, you need to set up a realistic budget that you can follow easily. Remember, you can only spend the amount of money that you have available. Simply put, you cannot pay for the movies if you do not have the funds in your bank account. So, you need to have a plan to accommodate these and other similar needs. In fact, this is also one of the keys to pre-planning a fun and relaxing night out with other college students.
Thankfully, there are a wide variety of budget apps and tools online to assist you with making it easy. For instance, if you use a budget app to track all of your college expenses (i.e. tuition, books, breakfast, lunch, dinner, lab fees and more), you can ditch the long hours of typing these receipts into your excel spreadsheets. In short, you can save a lot of extra time by automating this process.
2. Cook on a budget
Yes, everyone knows that all college students need nutritious foods to eat. Nutritious foods, however, can be very expensive when you are eating out. So, if you want to save money on a college student’s budget, you need to learn how to cook on a budget.
In the past, cooking on a budget could be drudgery and very time consuming. However, due to all of the cheap easy recipes published online today, you can easily pick and choose affordable bargain basement meals for you and your dorm mate.
Also, when you cook on a budget, you can easily control the cost of each meal that you make. You can also prepare meals in advance that you can take with you to class. This is also an excellent way to save money by not eating out in expensive cafeterias and break rooms between classes.
3. Open a savings account
To manage your money wisely, you need to open a savings account in your name. This is a smart move that gives you a chance to store money away for other things you need.
The fact of the matter is if you already have a checking account, these funds are usually used for monthly bills and every day expenses. Hence, you may not be trying to save or store money away for a rainy day.
But, when you make a budget, you’ll see opportunities to save money as well as spend. Your savings account is essential for many reasons including keeping a nest egg for emergency situations.
4. You can get a quick loan for emergencies
Sometimes emergencies do occur and you will need extra money. For instance, if you lose one or more of your college books, you may need emergency money to replace them. These books are not cheap and they can be costly to replace before your next classes convene.
So, in these situations, you may want to get a quick loan. When approved, a quick loan will give you a chance to replace your books in a timely manner. Also, once you have earned the money for these books, you can pay this sum back as quickly as possible. By getting this type of loan, you can avoid missing your classes and the penalties that come along with these extraordinary common situations.
5. Start building your credit score
When you graduate from college, you can begin to take on other responsibilities. In some cases, this may mean applying for a car loan or a mortgage for the home you want to buy. So, if you want to start early preparing for the purchase of a car, you should start building your credit score.
Since your credit history will determine your eligibility for your next vehicle and your dream home, you can save a lot of money by building up a good credit score and history early. A good credit score is essential for a number of different reasons, including helping you with buying the car of your dreams without unnecessary credit hassles. You can also eliminate high interest rate loans by building your credit score. Because your credit score is used to determine how much money you can be approved for and how much interest you’ll pay on the loan you borrow, you can build up your score before you start working on that corporate job.