Five Ways to Control Your College Finances
College years happen to be one of the most exciting periods in the life of every young person. The novelty, the parties, and the encounters with other people make college memorable and truly enjoyable.
College life and parties, however, tend to be connected to some serious expenditure. Being a college student and having enough cash on hand is difficult to achieve. Proper budget control and organization are essential.
Here are 5 effective ways that will help you cut spending and manage your finances during college. It does require some will and preliminary planning but budget optimization is always worth the effort.
1. Decide on a Monthly Budget
Take a month to get used to college. Once you do, analyze your expenditure. Sit down and do some budgetary planning at the beginning of each month. Writing it down on paper will help you know how much money you have and how to spend it rationally.
The budget should include the amount you have available for the month. First, you will have to list all necessary expenditures: dormitory-related expenditures, food, textbooks and other study materials.
The amount that is left could be allocated to fun and parties. Such monthly plans will help you get organized and your expenditure will get optimized very quickly. It may sound cumbersome, but give it a try.
2. Choose Some Pleasures over Others
You probably want to be part of every party. You would love to travel, to get new clothes and to enjoy a restaurant meal every now and then.
The number of temptations that await college students is tremendous. Being part of all of them is certainly financially impossible. Start prioritizing. Would you like to go to more parties? Is shopping something that you cannot live without?
Choose several leisure activities to enjoy each month. Allocate some funds to those.
3. Textbooks, Clothes, Accessories
Getting textbooks and clothing can be tough on the limited college budget. It is easy to reduce expenses on these items as well.
Each college provides its students with opportunities to purchase second-hand textbooks. Why would you need a new book which costs much more than the used version?
Select clothing items when stores offer discounts. Focus on accessories. A large number of accessories signifies that you can use fewer clothing items and look great each time.
4. The Cell Phone Bill
The telephone bill has the potential to kill your college budget. You will have to do something about it as well.
Use alternative communication means. Internet gives you chat and conversation options. Send e-mails or use instant messaging instead of calling people.
Change your cell phone plan if necessary. New opportunities appear on a regular basis. Some of these will be more affordable than your current telephone plan.
5. Get a Job
Even if you try hard, you may be incapable of decreasing expenditure significantly during your college years. This is when you should start thinking about increasing your income.
Get a part-time job on campus. It will help you deal with some of the college expenses, giving you more funds to spend on something else. Nearly every university offers its students some work opportunities. Explore those and find something that will help you make more money while gaining important life and work skills.