I realized recently just how often money worries crossed my mind while at college – probably an average of three to four times a day! It was usually as I grabbed a quick tea with a friend or spent a few dollars on travel that I hadn’t anticipated. Stressing about it so frequently definitely took its toll on my overall emotional well-being!
But no one wants to spend their four years of college constantly worrying about how to make ends meet! Try out some of these tips for making college money management as stress-free as possible:
Use an app to save time
The important thing is working out what type of budget works best for you, there’s no one size fits all. An app like Daily Budget is perfect if you can’t be bothered to write everything down, it keeps track of all your incomings and outgoings and tells you how much you can afford to spend per day. Genius.
Be smart with your cards
What works well for me is only using my card for travel expenses. So I take out the cash I’ve assigned myself for the week on a Monday, minus my travel money. You can even use two cards. Our Managing Editor Beth puts a certain amount on a second card that she uses for travel and lunch only, that way she can keep track of what she’s living on every month.
Save 10% of your income
I know I always feel so much more successful with my money management if I finish the month with some savings – even if it’s only 50 dollars! A good rule of thumb here is to skim 10% off all your income and immediately put it in a savings account. You can save up for something you’ve had your eye on for ages within a few months!
It’s so easy when you’re out and about for something to catch your eye in a shop window and before you know it you’ve spent $50 on a dress! It’s only later that you remember there are 5 things you actually needed to buy first.
A great way to avoid this trap is to keep wish lists somewhere easy to access, like your phone. Have one wish list for things you really need (mine currently has a new bra, stockings, and tampons on it!) and one wish list for things you want. Check your lists before any impulse buys! It’s amazing how great it feels to hold back and then spend the money on things you need first.
Staying on top of your money as a college student is especially important coming up to Christmas! We hope this advice means you can spend a few extra dollars on someone you love. What are your top tips?
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