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Jan 24, 2020
College Life

Trying to balance out how you are going to pay your rent, utilities, groceries, and everything else on a day to day basis can be quite a struggle as a poor college student.

How to create + stick to a budget as a college student

Even though we are a few weeks into the new semester, it’s time to sit down and create a budget that you are able to stick with to help this brand new semester fly by smoothly. With trying to juggle multiple classes, a part-time job, and maybe even an internship, trying to manage your money using smart budgeting strategies can be a challenge, given how busy the college life can be.

To make budgeting seem a little more doable, here is a list of multiple ways to create and stick to a budget as a college student to make your life just a little bit easier.

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Create a list of your monthly bills and utilities, and other expenses to keep yourself on track

It will pay off in the end and keep you more organized!

Creating a list of your expenses, whether it’s for your rent, utilities, your Spotify Premium, or any other expenses you may have will help you to stay on track and help you to stick to your budget. This is the most essential part to creating your budget is balancing out how you spend your money. With doing this step, you will be able to figure out how much money you need for the week, or month (depending on how far out you want to budget), to figure out how much money you have left to spend on whatever you want.

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Make a list of all of your expenses to stay on top of how much money you have and how much you have to use for bills, or subscriptions you are paying for.

Although it may be time consuming, sitting down and making a list of all of your expenses is essential to saving money, and to make sure you know where your money is going. While looking at bank statements to see specifically where your money is going, thinking ahead of time and planning it out is one of the smartest ways to budget your money.

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Avoid eating out as much as possible

Teach yourself to cook and eat healthier at home!

Lots of college students are guilty of spending more money eating out than they are buying groceries and eating at home. Even buying coffee every day at your local coffee shop adds up in the end. Not saying that you can’t go out and buy a $5 coffee every once in a while, or go get pizza with your friends on Friday nights, but the majority of your money may be disappearing from eating out.

There are many solutions to be able to fix this problem. The first one is to budget your money when choosing to go out and eat. You had a long week of classes and want to treat yourself to coffee? Go for it! You survived a grueling midterm week and want to go out with friends to celebrate? Go for it! There is absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself and eating out, but it can help you save money in the long run.

The other benefit to not eating out is that you have more money to buy groceries to learn how to cook yourself. Even with college being hectic, you can’t survive on eating ramen noodles all the time, so why not learn a new recipe? It can be an eye opening experience and one that will definitely help you save money in the long run.

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Always update yourself on the latest student discounts on campus

College is expensive, but many places offer student discounts!

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Check out what kinds of student discounts your university offers to better budget your money.

No matter where you go to college, there are always places surrounding your campus that cater to students and offer student discounts! These places could range anywhere from restaurants, clothing stores, college bookstores, Amazon Prime, Spotify, and many more. Taking advantage of student discounts is a great way to save money and budget.

Being a college student has its perks, for example, lots of resturants, or fast food chains offer discounts for students with a valid university ID in order to get the student deal. Amazon also offers student discounts. If you sign up for Amazon Prime Student and enter the University you attend and your graduation year, you can sign up for a six month trial and get two-day shipping, get unlimited access to Amazon Music, and also have access to thousands of movies and TV shows to watch for free!

Always stay updated with student discounts because in the long run it can help you save a lot of money! If you’re someone that loves eating out, having access to thousands of movies or songs, or even just need free two-day shipping on your books or whatever necessities you need, always check out the discounts and what is going on at your college campus or grab a student advantage card, which unlocks discounts with more than 10,000 brands.

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Use your credit cards wisely

Avoid going over your limit and only spend what you know you can spend!

Credit card debt among college students is growing every single day. Credit cards give people easy access to spending money that they don’t actually have.  Using credit cards to pay for books, or even bills is convenient, but in the end, if you don’t pay your monthly payments on time, it could hurt your credit in the long run.

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Keeping a stable and good credit score is tough, but if you only use your credit card for necessities, or specifically for college purposes, then paying your monthly credit card payments on time should be easy. If you budget correctly and know how much you can spend and what you can use your credit card for, then you should have no problem then you should be successful in keeping up with your credit card bills. 

By following these few steps, creating and sticking to a budget is easy as a college student. If you have any other suggestions on how to create and stick to a budget as a college student, leave us some suggestions in the comments!

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