How are things going for you financially? Don’t worry, we won’t judge, we know it’s not easy! Are you doing well with your finances? That’s great! This blog post probably isn’t for you. However, if you think you could use some extra help with managing your money or are just interested in the topic, keep reading! Today we’ll be discussing 3 ways to better manage your finances as a college student.
- Set a budget & track your spending
- Open a savings account
- Get a part-time job
For more information, Keep reading…
Set a Budget & Track your Spending
This is the easiest step any college student can take to help manage their finances. Setting a budget can help you to avoid those tough decisions between a Saturday night out or whether you get to eat dinner on Wednesday night. While it may seem like a pointless thing to do when you have exams, homework, extracurriculars, and Tik Tok to focus on, setting a budget is a great skill to develop early on in your college career. The fact of the matter is, there aren’t classes that teach you how to set a budget and yet it’s likely something you will do in some capacity for the majority of the rest of your life. It may sound scary, but setting a budget can be really simple with a couple of tools. What tools your ask? A computer with Excel and a calculator (or phone) will work perfectly! Open up an excel workbook and begin listing out all of your monthly expenses. Rent, tuition, books, utilities, groceries, car payments, gas, or anything else you spend your money on each month.
Once you’ve listed out these items, it’s a good idea to organize your excel sheet as best as you can. Depending on your skills with excel, you can get pretty creative with this or you can keep it as a simple list. Then, in a separate area, input your monthly income and see how the numbers equate out. How much money do you have leftover? Are you in the red for this month? If so, take a look at your spending and see where you can make adjustments. Having your spending laid out in an excel sheet allows you to track your spending and make adjustments accordingly so that you can go out on that Saturday night and not feel guilty about it! We recommend doing this each month to see the change over time.
Open a Savings Account
I know that this may seem scary, but it’s a good idea to start a savings account early. While we may want to use our hard-earned cash on ourselves first, then our bills, and lastly, maybe save a little bit, that’s not a great strategy! It’s a good habit to get into, to pay your bills, contribute to your savings, and then use what’s leftover on yourself. Building these habits now will only benefit you further after graduation. Now that you have a budget in place, you can easily use it as a guide to see where you can limit your spending to contribute more to your savings. Spending a lot on gas? Try using a bike, public transportation, or the Bearline to get to class instead. Computer busted and need a new one? Look into refurbished ones rather than brand new ones. Grocery shopping? Try to avoid the higher-priced, name-brand items and opt for the cheaper ones. There are a lot of different ways to help contribute more money to your savings while attending college.
Get a Part-Time Job
This is our personal favorite way to better manage your finances! There are so many benefits to working while attending college. Check out our blog post about The Top 5 Benefits of Working While in College to learn more about this! Having a part-time job while in school is not only a great boost to your wallet, but it can be a great resume builder. If you are able to find a job that pertains to your career, you can gain relevant work experience and some extra cash at the same time! What’s better than that? Over the summer months, it’s also a great idea to take advantage of that time (assuming you aren’t taking classes through the summer.) If you can land a paid internship opportunity that great! If not, any part-time or full-time job will be a great way to return to school with some extra cash. If you need assistance applying to or looking for jobs, visit our website or give a call! The Student Employment Office is here to assist you in any way we can in regards to employment while you are attending Missouri State University.