How to Save Money In College: College Budgeting 101
Creating a budget in college is one of the best things things that you can do for yourself. Not only does it promote self discipline, it can help you save hundreds of dollars per month.
Establishing a budget for yourself during college is not something that you should do its something that you must do in order to make the most out of the income that you are receiving.
Making a budget is not something that you should only do if you have job. If your parents are giving you money every month, you are living off of student loans, or any other form of income, budgeting is right for you.
Calculate your income
This is the first step to creating the perfect budget for yourself. Put together a list of all the income sources that you have to establish how much money you have to spend each month. Your income sources could include:
- Job/Internship Income
- Financial Aid
- Money from parents
Determine your expenses
You expenses is most likely where the majority of your money will be going. It is important to put together a detailed list to determine exactly where you will be spending your money each month.
Examples of expenses might include:
- Personal Care
- Misc (Eating out/Entertainment)
Create a budgeting method
My current budgeting method
I’m not sure if this budgeting method has a name (maybe the zero-based budget), but this budgeting method has truly changed my life.
This budgeting method helps me to manage my money better due to being able to manage expenses in smaller segments.
- Determine monthly expenses
- Divide monthly expenses by 2 paychecks
- Subtract monthly expenses from income every 2 weeks
- If a payment is due every month, set aside half of the money each paycheck
The 50/30/20 budgeting method is a simple and easy to use for a college budgeting that doesn’t require detailed expense categories.
You simply spend 50% of your income on your needs (Rent, Car, Food). Spend 30% of your income on your wants (Personal care, hobbies, subscriptions. Then you spend 20% of your income on saving.
Your savings category can include:
- New car
- College tuition payment
- General savings
- Emergency money
Cash only Budget
This method is perfect if you are someone who struggles with overspending and not tracking how much money you are spending when you swipe your debit card.
Using the cash only budgeting method will help you be able to regulate your spending.
For example, when you go to the grocery store with a set amount of cash, you will spend more time thinking about each purchase making sure you are making the most out of your money.
You can even use this method for your miscellaneous expenses each month (or your fun money). I find that using this method for my fun money actually helps me to spend less money on things that I don’t necessarily need.
I hope these budgeting tips and methods will help you be able to manage your money in college and also show you how to save money in college and just how easy it is!