Managing Money as a College Student

It is clear that college is definitely a new experience and while many students would like to have a steady income, most are not sure if they can keep up.

Whether you’re looking for money to put on the side or you need to contribute to college bills; money needs to come from somewhere.

The life of a broke college student is often a sad road, especially if you have no idea how to budget your money!

Let’s first take a basic economic lesson-don’t spend money you don’t have. Budgeting becomes a lifestyle while you are a college student however, there are a few ways to manage your money.

During college, all your necessities are already paid for. Your food, room, bathroom, and furniture are all paid for, so a huge income is not completely necessary because you have all the essentials.

Any money you have or earn would be for extras such as eating off campus or maybe a shopping or a movie day, which is often nice but not always do-able.

To budget, one must learn how to be a savvy shopper. I am not saying to never treat yourself to indulgences like shopping or a night on the town with friends.

I am referring more to looking for sales when shopping and even if it comes down to it, using coupons when going out. I know this sounds so cliche mom like, but coupons are distributed for pretty much everything, including restaurants and frozen yogurt places, so don’t be embarrassed. If anything, your friends will appreciate saving a few dollars.

Depending on what kind of person you are and how well you manage your money, college budgeting could go a few ways.

If you are a very impulsive buyer, like myself, and you want to have the ability to be able to buy things when you please, whether you really need the item or not; you’re going to need a little extra cash.

Getting this extra cash could go two ways. You could earn, save, then budget your money or you could work and receive an income. Many students will take up a summer job before college or work throughout their senior year of high school to save up for college.

In this case, any money you earn before college, you should save and budget throughout the year.

You could budget and save whatever you feel necessary, until the next summer where you have the opportunity to work and earn some more money.

But this also may not be everyone’s first choice. Unfortunately for me budgeting is very difficult. I tend to spend money as fast as I earn it.

It isn’t necessarily bad all the time, however when you start to spend quicker than you earn, it may become a problem in the long run.

So for the even more frivolous shopper, it would be in his or her interest to start working as soon as possible so that they have money to spend as they please, without having to live paycheck to paycheck.

I currently have a job and I am able to balance school and work pretty well.

A person like myself- an impulsive buyer; I like to buy what I want at that time. I am a girl and sometimes I just cannot help myself.

Although I do save some of my money, it is sometimes not enough to get me through a whole year.

College budgeting starts by identifying the type of spender you are. Maybe you are able to budget your money for a whole year, or maybe you spend money a little more freely, and would feel more comfortable taking an income. Budgeting is extremely important for a college student, so make sure you find out what type of spender you are!