Being a freshman in a college is quite exciting. But going to college also brings in a bundle of responsibilities that can be overwhelming. The biggest challenge for a young college student is managing monthly expenses on a stipulated budget.
Utilizing money sparingly is a huge challenge for any college student. Micromanaging in small budgets is extremely difficult. Yet college students must strive to live a frugal life during their study period. With smart planning on how to sustain monthly expenses, a student can also realize on how to prioritize budgets and learn the essence of saving.
Now that the freshmen students have figured out the challenge, how does one overcome these obstacles? Management of money is the key to overcoming the problem of overshooting budgets.
Money management if done correctly by a student will help keep a track of expenses, investments, budgeting, and banking. Let us elaborate few of the methods that will prove useful in constraining your budget while you juggle your way out of college.
1. Generate Income Flow Amidst Your Studies
The sole way to realize the importance of money is to earn it on your own. A student will realize that while money is spent in a jiffy, it takes a really long time to earn it. This realization will create respect for money management within every student who starts putting in efforts to earn money.
Getting a job on the campus or even a part-time job somewhere in a mall is a great way of making some extra cash. This will also grant you expertize as a student to effectively multitask between college, studies, and work.
2. Construct a Budget Management Assignment
It is extremely necessary that a student maintains an accountability of how the cash flows. Most of the students feel that preparing a budget only amounts to payments of the bills. This is a misunderstanding that needs to be clarified.
Budgeting implies dedicating a fixed amount to an expense incurred. First-hand exposure to a budget management assignment will enable you to understand your cash flow structure. This will help in analyzing how much cash flows in, and how the cash should be sparingly utilized. Budgeting will help you save substantial amount which will help you in the long run.
3. Differentiate Needs from Wants
Everything that you ‘want’ does not mean that it is everything that you ‘need’. A ‘want’ is a desire which is optional and subjective. A ‘need’ is something that is essential for survival. Being a student you must be able to distinguish a ‘want’ from a ‘need’.
A basic example is the necessity of shopping for your weekly grocery and hence it can be categorized as a ‘need’. Similarly, investing in a new phone while already owning one is a ‘want’. Make sure you negate all the wants and concentrate on your needs, thereby saving quite a bit.
4. Invest in a Savings Account
The saying “it is never too early to start saving” holds true. Inculcate a stringent practice to save however small the amount may be. While as a student you may not have much money to deal with savings, make it a part of your lifestyle.
As a student, you will always be in a money crunch situation. In spite of that, make it an attempt to save a little. In the initial stages it may not seem a lot, but in the long run, you will realize the amount goes on piling up and will prove extremely beneficial if a need to spend arises.
5. Favor Shared Housing
Sharing accommodation with other college mates will prove extremely profitable in terms of savings. A student can share an apartment / flat with a few other students, thereby creating a cost-effective scenario as the rent will be shared by others too.
Once share accommodation is opted for, you can further cut the costs by scavenging for used appliances that come at a low cost. A student can also prefer renting appliances as they will be used for a limited time span till one gets through college.
6. Channelize Transportation Expenses
One of the major reasons students get into debts is by spending on unwanted desires. Transportation is one of those wants. If you are staying away from the college, preferably utilize the facility of public transport instead of opting for the more expensive options like cabs or car rentals.
A student must gauge whether it is absolutely essential to purchase or rent out a car? How is the fuel budget going to impact the monthly expenses? Is the overall expense of owning the car cheaper than that of a public transport? Scrutinize these points and the answer will automatically help you decide whether you need a car or just continue with public transportation.
7. Cautious Use of Credit Card
Plastic money is a form of spending money without you realizing. And the simplicity of plastic spending can easily put you into debts. Credit cards were invented with a need to use only when one was cash-strapped. It has now become a necessity for survival.
Even though credit cards provide access to good offers if used, as a student you must keep an extremely low limit on the cards which will curb you from overspending.
Apart from these 7 essential points, a few other points also merit consideration. Avoid shopping at premium groceries. Rather look out for stores that offer great deals on groceries. Why eat in expensive restaurants when you can cook innovative dishes at your home at low cost? Make yourself simple and delicious meals that prove economical for your budget.
Avoid spending on new textbooks which are quite expensive, rather look out for used books that come in at a fraction of a cost. Students can also look in for ebooks that are cheaper than physical books. Check out this link for cheap books availability.
Finally, as a student, you must be wary of identity fraud. The age group of 18 to 24 olds is the most susceptible to identity fraud. Make sure that you do not share your confidential and sensitive financial details to anyone.
So when you start off with your college life, you will not only get personal freedom, but also financial freedom. As a student, you must be aware as to where to pull the stops in using these types of freedom. That being said, you can enjoy your college period by cutting slack once a while but also making sure that your luxuries are well within your budgetary means. With all these tips put into effect, you can get through the initial years of college without making too many financial errors.
About the Author:
Nishant Sinha is the co-founder of Transtutors.com, an online homework help platform for students of Graduation and Post-Graduation level. It has been his passion and vision to help the students across the globe that he along with his co-founder started with this venture. You can check his LinkedIn, Facebook profile to know more about him.