While you’re in college, finances are often difficult to manage. You likely spend money frequently when going out with friends, ordering take out, shopping at the mall, buying textbooks, and even paying for tuition. While there are lots of expenses you will be responsible for in college, you can handle them all if you plan ahead accordingly. Here are some tips about how you can set a budget for your college living expenses.
The first step to setting a college budget is to determine, on average, how much money you have coming in each month. This number will depend on several factors. You may have a part time job while you’re in school that helps to cover most of your expenses. In other cases you may do smaller jobs on campus or even receive work-study money from school. Other students receive an “allowance” each month from their families that helps to pay for certain costs. No matter your situation, think about what money you have coming in consistently that you can count on each and every month.
Next, consider which expenses you have to pay each month or even each semester. If you pay for tuition, you will need to factor in setting aside money to go towards school. You should also think about how much money you will need for buying or renting textbooks each semester. Once you know how much you spend at the start of a semester, you can then focus on regular, monthly expenses. If you pay rent and utilities you should account for this money. Then think about car payments, insurance and any other fees you handle. Take the number you have in income each month, and subtract regular expenses from this number. Then you have “extra” money that you can work with for more leisurely activities, savings, or even for eating out.
Automatically you should plan to take at least 5% of the money you earn each month and put it aside into savings. Having emergency money set off to the side can ensure that you are prepared for unexpected expenses such as your car breaking down! This way you won’t have to wipe out your bank account to cover these last minute costs.
After deducting monthly expenses and money that will go aside for savings, you can consider what else you typically spend your money on so that you can set a budget for yourself. Think of the categories in which you spend most of your money such as shopping, eating out, ordering take out, going to shows or movies and more. Once you know these categories, you can set reasonable budgets for yourself so that you can still enjoy these things without going broke and without overdoing it.
In between researching your social work major onhttp://www.socialworkdegree.case.edu or going out with friends, be sure to make time for your finances as well! Taking the time to analyze your regular, reliable income, set money aside for rent and necessary expenses, set money aside for an emergency savings account, and then budget your leisure spending responsibly and realistically is essential to budgeting wisely while you are in college. Utilize these tips to stay organized, save money, and avoid going broke!