Being a student is hard enough with assignments, exams and classes, however another important aspect that is often overlooked is budgeting. Managing your finances as a student is extremely difficult as there are usually other priorities that take over; however, if you succeed in budgeting as a student, you’ll end up on top and ahead. Let’s go through some definitions. Everyday spending is the money you allocate for living including food and transportation. Large purchases are amounts that are bigger than normal such as tuition. Differentiating these purchases and placing them in your budget is crucial.
Here’s some tips for budgeting as a student:
- Don’t spend money you don’t have.
It’s easy to believe that the Student Loans or credit cards are money you have and are easily spendable, but it’s not yours! The money you have is only in your debit account. While credit cards are great to help you start building credit, it is not money to spend wildly. Also, student loans are a blessing but they are loans so use responsibly.
- Write down your monthly expenses.
As a student, you have predetermined limited expenses and that is something to rave about. You know exactly what is needed to survive and that’s something not everyone has after graduation. Here are the most popular categories: Rent, Tuition, Textbooks, Groceries, Transportation, Savings, Leisure and your Emergency budget. Here are some forgotten expenses that caught you off guard – keep sight of them (Subscriptions, beauty, gifts, toiletries, travel).
- Use the luxury of low to zero interest
As a student, one of the greatest gifts you have is the luxury of paying back the student loans with low to zero interest rates! Now instead of budgeting for your interest, you can grow your savings! That’s money that can grow and help pay back the student loans faster!
- Set financial goals
The habits you form as a student will follow you into all aspects of your life. An example of financial goals to set is: Spend a maximum of $50 on takeout bi-weekly. By having these ground rules and goals, you’ll achieve that financial success!
- Automate your savings and expenses
Use the student budgeting apps to automate the process and to also put away money so you can only spend what you have!
- Make your money stretch further
Every penny counts toward making it out debt-free and even better, maybe a little more cash.
- Cut out unnecessary purchases
- Get financial assistance in multiple ways – bursaries, grants or side hustle money
- Recycle everything! Sell and use re-used to save financially
- Be creative with passive income
- Treat yourself on those days but wisely
- Use coupons, discounts and Cash Back apps (like AstroWealth 😉)
- Collaborate with roommates to make things last – especially groceries
- Take advantage of free events and clubs on campus
As a student, the most important responsibility you will have is to differentiate between needs and wants. Stick to your budget and you will do amazing things! If you ever need help, don’t be afraid to ask!
Want to learn how to define your financial goals? Get started here.
Join AstroWealth today to earn Cash Back when you shop online or activate a partner offer.