Budgeting is simply aligning the available funds with your expenses. This can be further be broken down to an allocation of the money earned to the different needs and wants that you have. For a student, you probably have no income and budgeting would save you from additional money issues.
If you are a student, you are likely to have a pretty tight budget. In most cases, students only spend while hardly making any money. For this reason, they ought to know how to plan for their money prudently to sustain their expenses throughout the semester. Students expenses mainly consist of accommodation costs, food expenses, stationery expenses, transport, and entertainment costs. Here are a few ways that students can budget their money:
Track your expenses with the use of an application
As a college student, there are many activities that encompass your life. With such a busy schedule, it may not be easy to keep track of your expenses. However, you can use a software application to monitor your daily expenses. Some of these applications will notify you when your bills are due, what you actually owe and how much you can actually pay.
Make use of your student ID
There are always student discounts on a number of stores and restaurants. To take full advantage of these promotions, you need to have your student ID with you.
A student email address can also get you free shipping on selected items. You can do this by signing up for the prime student account on Amazon. The main point here is that you should always strive to ask for a student discount.
Dollar stores are another great place to save cash on necessities. Although they are not always the coolest places for most people they are still worth shopping from, especially for the basic stuff. Think of things like trash bags and paper towels. Nevertheless, these things could cost more at a grocery store.
Do not buy excess groceries
An average person living in the United States wastes a pound of food every day. If we narrow this down to the money used to purchase excess groceries, it is a significant amount. For a student, this money is worth saving. Besides that, wasting food is a bad habit. When you go to the grocery store, make sure you stick to your shopping list. This is a form of cultivating good habits that will save you from wasting money and food. Also, it’s smart to target the food items with a longer shelf life where applicable.
Do not live beyond your means
We all want financial freedom at some point in life. Living beyond your means will certainly not get you there. Always try living frugally. While it's not that fun, it can help you achieve financial freedom. If you spend more than you have, you will end up attracting debts which may leave you in a precarious position. There are a lot of activities in college that can make it easy for you to overspend, including dates and regular concerts every other week. You need to resist these kinds of temptations and strike a balance between your money and entertainment.
Keep an emergency fund
This is probably one of the best budget moves that you can ever make. Unexpected expenses come up all the time. If, for example, your car breaks down while driving to school, and you don’t have any money on you, you will undoubtedly get stranded. If you also choose to spend money set aside for food, you will struggle to put food on the table, and that's why it's always wise to have some money set aside for unforeseen circumstances.
Apart from these tips, try to score some good grades as they can open up great financial opportunities for you. Merit scholarships are awarded to students who excel, and this can lighten the overall financial burden on your budget. They can also garner you some good student discounts on stuff like car insurance. The bottom line is to keep your finances within the right balance.