Budgeting can be difficult, especially if it feels like you don’t even know where to start. As a college student, there is a good chance that you are constantly low on cash. Sure, part of the reason why you are always broke is because you are in college and don’t have a chance to bring in an income, but you may also be broke because you are having a hard time budgeting.
By budgeting accordingly and finding an efficient way to hold on to the capital you do have, you can make the cash in your bank stretch very far. Many college students make the grave mistake of not budgeting and simply rely on their ability to ‘spend as little as possible’. Here is some basic budgeting advice for college students.
Subsidize Your Tuition with Grants
One of the benefits of grants versus loans is that you don’t have to pay them back. Indeed, you may not have your entire tuition covered, but you will be able to curb some of your costs. For instance, you could use the grants to pay for your rent or for textbooks. If you purchase textbooks used, you can also save a lot of money.
Use Public Transportation
Instead of driving an expensive car, you may want to think about taking public transportation. Many colleges, unlike Pepperdine University, are in cities and towns that have ample transportation. In a car, you are forced to spend money on fuel and other expenses. Moreover, you have to worry about insurance and maintenance costs. As a broke college student, this can really start to add up. If you live in a town where there isn’t ample public transportation, you may want to think about taking a bike. You could also organize a carpooling system.
Shop for Your Own Food
Restaurants can be expensive and if you eat out every single day, it will start to add up. This can happen even if you are finding the most affordable places to eat. If you have a hot plate in your dorm, you could easily head to the market and stock up on some noodles. Whenever you are ready for dinner, you can make your noodles. You can also purchase some fresh vegetables to balance out your diet.
Only Purchase Items You Absolutely Need
Of course, as a college student you won’t have a lot of extra cash to purchase things like brand-new clothing or movie tickets. This is why you only want to reserve the cash you do have for things you actually need. For instance, you will need to purchase textbooks, supplies and all the other necessities. The last thing you want is to run out of cash without really have anything to show for it.
Use a Budgeting Website to Track Expenses
If you want to budget your finances carefully, you may want to think about using an online service that can help you itemize and track everything. This can give you a bird’s-eye-view of what you have to spend. In the end, with this can kind of perspective; you may even be able to save some of your money.