5 Ways to Keep a Budget

It goes without saying that college students know more about budgeting than many other people. Like the Allstate commercial mentions, college is like living on “a ramen noodle every night budget”. But many students often do not realize how important or how easy it is to budget your money. Savings are extremely important when it comes to taking those trips with your friends or even for emergency situations. Here are some easy suggestions when it comes to saving your money:

  • Decide between “wants” and “needs”. If you know you need to spend money on food, stick to your budget and don’t blow it on frivolous things. Federal Student Aid has more information on separating wants & needs.
  • Overestimate on your expenses. By guessing higher, you will always have more wiggle room with your money and even some extra in case of emergency.
  • Keep a record of your spending. As long as you keep track of what you spend, you can figure out what’s most expensive in your budget. Keeping a record also helps if you notice unusual charges on your cards because you will have the proof. Target has cheap and efficient options for staying organized.
  • Use credit cards wiselyUsing credit cards in college is smart because it helps build credit. But it can also be a slippery slope to a debt. Look for cards that give rewards for using them on gas or groceries, and only use them for smaller purchases that you know you can pay off.
  • Save your financial aid. For students that receive financial aid, the best idea is to save that refund check instead of spending it. It will pay off in the long run.

US News, CIC Money, and Citizens Bank also have great advice when it comes to budgeting and saving your money for the future.

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