budget is not as hard as it sounds. Making the initial commitment
to live according to your budget is the hardest part. If you have
done that, you are well on your way to wise spending and saving.
It is simply a written plan for spending your money. You will
spend your money; a budget just helps you to spend it wisely.
Prepare a budget worksheet. You can make one yourself, or use
a pre-made form. To make your own, just write down your income
in one column and your expenses in another column, then compare
If you would
like to use a pre-made budget form, there are many already set
up online. Here are a few links to worksheets that you can print
out and use:
You will learn
a great deal about your financial situation by taking this first
step. If you are like most people, you will find that your income
is less than your expenses. You are now informed about it though,
and can take the necessary action to change your situation.
Start tracking your incidental expenses. You know where the bulk
of your money is going, but what about all those little extras?
This is a very important step if you are serious about finding
ways to stretch your money. Find a small notebook, and jot down
all money spent each day on meals, snacks, gas, impulse purchases,
and entertainment. After you have done this for a few days, you
will start noticing how the small things really add up, and where
you can start cutting back.
Learn all you can about budgeting,
spending, and saving
your money. The library offers many free resources to help
you with this. Talk to your friends, parents, and teachers about
what they have learned about budgeting and saving their money.
Take advantage of student discounts, and free offers. Here are
some helpful student web sites online to help you save:
Live a frugal lifestyle. Shop smart and spend less.
Try these frugal living suggestions:
your wants verses your needs. Concentrate on spending money only
on your needs.
drink, smoke, or do drugs. They are bad for you, addictive, and
cost money. You don't need them.
"Don't spend money around the plans you make. Make plans around the money you have..."
at all possible, keep a savings account. Pay yourself first.
everything to its full potential. Don't waste anything.
and reuse study materials such as pencils, pens, and paper. Buy
and sell the ones you no longer need.
spend money around the plans you make. Make plans around the money
you have after all your responsibilities are met.
be tempted by your friends' spending habits.
the most of the college's meal plan, and any college events where
there is free food.
your tuition money wisely. Always take the maximum number of credits
an on-campus job.
things yourself instead of buying them whenever possible.
smart when buying
groceries and household items. Use coupons.
Shop the sales. Stock up on discounted non-perishable items. Foods
like milk, butter, and cheese can be frozen. Don't buy soft drinks,
unless they are on sale, or store brand. Drink water. Do not spend
money on snack machines.
smart when buying
clothes. Do not pay retail prices. Shop thrift stores, consignment
shops, yard sales, clearance racks, and buy during off seasons.
Don't buy any item that requires dry cleaning. Consider consigning
your own clothes to earn some money.
Email or text instead of calling home.
just a few ideas that you can use to start living a more frugal
life, and to successfully manage your budget. Learning how to
manage your budget in college will help you immensely. The decisions
you make early on will effect you later in life. Use your time
and money wisely.