Do you often find yourself in a situation where you are out of money and it’s only been a week since you got your last parent installment or salary? Budgeting and making sure you have enough money to pay for rent or being able to go out and eat at the end of the week is something that most college students struggle with no matter what their income level is.
To learn how to understand the value of money and create a buffer is not always the easiest. Most people in college have some kind of extra job besides classes but with all the expenses and activities that a college student may engage in, it is hard to have anything left to save at the end of the month. A buffer is great to have in cases of unexpected expenses or if you perhaps want to go on a spring break trip, or if you just want to buy that cool shirt you found at the mall. An easy way to get going with your saving is by putting away 10% of your salary every month. This may not seem like a whole lot to you depending on how much you make, but it makes a great difference in the long-run. By having a buffer not only will you have some extra money, you will also avoid using credit cards and other type of fee associated payment options that build bad debt. Even though credit cards are great, they tend to lead to expensive interest charges and bad credit scores.
A budget should include all your monthly expenses and if you find it hard to think of what these might be, use your online bank statements to look them up. Your version of a monthly budget might look a little bit different but this is the template I use.
Good luck with your budget - remember, the SSS mentors are always here if you need help getting started!!
- Carl Larsson