When attending college, getting used to a new budget can be a hassle. Most people have struggled financially, and with college, it is almost inevitable to need help from time to time.
There are many ways to create a budget and start to save now. Through Pinterest you can find many monthly or yearly challenges, budget spreadsheets or a way to change the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle overall.
These are a few ways to ease the stress that you will endure financially during college.
- Get a calendar
Not only will this help with keeping up with schoolwork and work itself, it will help keep track of payments and paychecks. By simply adding a list of payments to a calendar you are able to see when your bank account will fluctuate.
Color coating these will help establish when your bank account will decrease and when it will increase, so you can glance at the calendar instead of reading through every payment.
- Start a savings challenge
Many students do not think about saving since they are struggling to make ends meet now, so why add to the problem by putting money away?
By doing a 30-day, six-month or yearly challenge, you can slowly add to your savings without struggling too much. There are many different challenges that can fit with your lifestyle. If you want to save every other week, there are challenges that abide by biweekly paychecks.
Depending on which challenge you choose to do, you could save up to $10,000. Now, how can you afford to save? Instead of going out to eat or going to McDonald’s and getting a $2 sandwich, put that into savings. Those two dollars may not seem like a lot at the time, but it adds up and may help your struggle end in the future.
- Fill out a worksheet
This may sound like you’re back in high school, being forced to fill out a worksheet you will never use, but this is completely different.
With these you are able to track your paychecks and payments and calculate how much money will be left over at the end of the month. By doing this, you can see how much you are spending, if that payment is worth it and if you are over budget by going out to eat that one night a week.
- There’s an app for that
There are many budget apps that are available that can help you keep track of your finances without the need of keeping track of a paper.
One of the problems many people experience is they see their money disappear to bills immediately after being paid. By using an app, you are able to see how much you have made so you do not feel as upset when it ends up going to bills.
These apps allow you to have a sense of pride by being able to see your paychecks and how much you worked.
- Think about the small things
Students forget that small budgets add up in the end. For example, carpooling, discounts, coupons, not going out to eat, etc. add up.
Many places have student discounts or a college student night. Do not feel weird for asking if a place has a college student discount, but make sure to have your NDSU ID on you at all times.
Many think coupons are for the elderly, but they are one way that you can save more and struggle less. When shopping for food, look at the weekly grocery advertisements before going so you can buy things at their cheapest, as well as make a list and avoid splurges.
Comparing prices is also a way to save. If something seems expensive, look at another grocery store and it could be cheaper there.
Gas money also adds up. Carpooling with others will help you save on gas by splitting the cost of filling up among your friends.