College is a time for many students to get their first taste of independence. It’s also a time when they have to learn how to manage finances in college, which can be difficult no matter your age. Here are some tips on how you can become a better financial manager in college:
Don’t ignore your bank account
You may not think about your bank account, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working hard. Your bank has been keeping track of your money and is ready to help you with money management tips in college to live a more financially secure life.
- Don’t ignore your bank account.
- Don’t make impulse purchases.
- Don’t use credit cards.
You also have to be careful while using a credit card. As per the experts at SoFi, “While having a credit card as a student can be a good idea–for convenience, as a backup for emergencies, and to start building credit history (more on that below), you’ll want to be careful that you don’t run up credit card debt.”
Start a budget
A budget is a plan for how you will spend your money. Sticking to your budget is important because it helps you manage spending by limiting what you can buy. You should ensure that each month, every dollar goes toward something specific.
For example, if you’re trying to save up for a new laptop, then make sure all of the money in your checking account goes toward that goal and nothing else. That way, when it comes time to buy the laptop with cash at the end of August or the beginning of September (when school starts again), there will be no surprises!
Spend less than you earn
The most important thing you can do to manage your money well is to spend less than you earn. This means being aware of what’s coming in and going out so there isn’t a big gap between the two.
Keep track of all your expenses by using a budgeting app or spreadsheet on the computer, or even just by writing down everything on paper. You can also look at past bank statements, credit card bills and other records of payments to see where your money has been going over time.
Control your impulses
Some people have the best of intentions when it comes to saving money and staying on a budget. But when the money starts rolling in, they can’t help themselves. Before you know it, you’re shopping for things that aren’t necessities or even appealing to a college student (like a brand new car).
If this sounds like you, try considering every purchase as an investment instead of buying something just because of its price tag. For example, if you want to buy something expensive but don’t need it right now, ask yourself: Will I use this often? How long will it last? How much value do I get from it compared with what I spent on the item? If the answer is no or maybe, then stop!
We hope this article has helped you understand your money better, and we encourage you to keep these tips in mind as you continue on your journey through college. Remember that even the smallest savings can add up over time—so don’t stress out about those $5 coffees when there are more important things out there for you to spend your money on!