Going to college is one of the best times of life. This is when adulthood begins, and each student takes on a new level of responsibility. And it’s also a time when money can be tight.
That’s why it’s so vital to learn college budgeting.
A college student budget is one of the most important forms of discipline you can develop. In fact, it’s a discipline that will help you to be financially healthy through the rest of your life.
In this article, we take a look at some ways that you can stay within your budget and yet still make the most of your college experience. So keep reading to learn some valuable tips for being financially wise and have fun at the same time.
Live Within Your Means
This is the most basic advice you’ll ever receive. Perhaps you’ve already heard this a thousand times, but it’s still the foundation of financial success.
It simply means to spend less than you make. What could be more reasonable than that? Well, there are plenty of ways to spend money you don’t have and find yourself deep in debt in a hurry.
Tattoo this basic principle on your forehead and repeat it every day. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.
Now let’s look at ways to still have a great time while living within your means.
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
You might be surprised how many businesses offer student discounts. This includes restaurants, movie theaters, and tons of online retailers.
Wherever you go, just make it a habit to ask. All it takes is flashing your student ID.
Go to Free Events on Campus
One of the great things about college is there are usually tons of great activities on campus. This is also the perfect way to be entertained without spending a dime.
Go to concerts, see standup comedians, student performances, sporting events, art exhibits, and big campus events where the entire student body can get involved.
Keep in mind that campus events are where you’ll make tons of memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Tutor Other Students
Want to make extra cash? Consider tutoring your peers on campus. After all, you’ll have a certain subject you excel at that others in class might struggle with.
Tutoring is a great side hustle. After all, it’s bonus study time for you, you’ll pocket some walking around money while helping peers improve their grades.
And with Skype and FaceTime, it’s possible to conduct tutoring sessions without ever leaving your dorm room, so you can make money any time of the day or night.
Avoid Credit Cards
When it comes to staying in control of your finances, nothing is more important than avoiding credit card debt. It’s so incredibly easy to become enslaved to debt.
You’re best bet is to walk away from credit card offers that will be thrown at you. Learn to live on cash and save credit cards for later in life when you might have a greater need for revolving credit.
When cash is tight and you need a quick cash loan, you can learn more about this here.
This might sound a little silly or old fashioned, but using coupons is an ideal way to save money on just about everything. The Internet is full of online coupons, and nearly every day you’ll likely find tons of coupons among the junk mail in your snail mailbox.
Take the time to clip those bad boys rather than throwing them away! You might only save a few cents or a buck or two, but remember that as a student every dollar counts.
Another tip is to sign up for online mailing lists so that you can receive discounts and alerts for upcoming sales events.
Don’t Eat Out
As a student, it’s super tempting to eat out nearly every day. It’s fun and convenient, and it’s great for socializing. But it also burns a lot of cash.
It’s going to be tough, but learn to stay on campus, eat your meals in the cafeteria and keep healthy snacks in your room. Again, every dollar matters, and you’ll be shocked how much you save by avoiding the temptation for burgers and pizza at the local hot spots with your peeps.
Shop at Thrift Stores
Need clothes? Sure, we all do. But there’s no reason to waste money on brand new stuff.
Thrift stores are an awesome source for clothes and accessories that often times have barely been worn at all. A smart shopper can find amazing deals on the top styles at a fraction of the price.
Have a Side Hustle
When it comes to making money, learn to be creative and find side hustles. This could be tutoring, walking dogs, or starting a YouTube channel, etc.
There really are a million ways to make serious cash on the side while maintaining your school schedule. Just be creative and keep your eyes open for cool opportunities.
Get Rid of Cable
Don’t waste money on cable. Plain and simple. There’s plenty of other content available for free or at a much lower price.
Don’t Drink or Smoke
There are plenty of vices that are a total waste of money. Two of the biggest are alcohol and cigarettes. Sure, you want to have a great time while you’re away at school, but the key to success is learning how to avoid temptations that will ultimately drain your time and money.
Just try to be smart. Drinking and smoking can be fun, but they are also very unhealthy. After all, you’re working hard for your education, so you’ll want to live long enough to enjoy the benefits.
The Benefits of a College Student Budget
Very few students are independently wealthy. Thus the need to make every dollar stretch. A good college student budget will help.
Be smart, work hard, save money, and make the most of your college experience.
Click here to learn the 8 times of year you’re likely to get discounted clothing items.