Most college students are very poor at money management and I know that since I myself am a college-goer who finds money management a difficult task. College is the time when you feel like having all the cool stuff in the world – but you never have the money for it. Money management is an essential life skill that one must learn in college years – when parents have little control on where you spend it. Because once you are working, you are anyway going to be on your own.
In this post I have discussed 11 tips on money management for college students.
Know Your Blind Spots: When it comes to spending money, a person has many blind spots. You may know that you are spending money daily on it, but you might not be aware of how much it really costs you monthly. It is very important that you estimate how much each of your daily expenditures cost you in a month.
Eliminate The Vices: It is kind of dumb to ask college students not to drink or smoke. However, quitting smoking is definitely a great way to make huge savings. Having a drink or two on friday nights is fine though, provided you do not overdo it. You will be amazed how much more money you have saved by eliminating or reducing your expenditures on vices.
Do Market Survey Before You Buy Expensive Things: When you have decided to buy something expensive, especially in the case of electronic gadgets like cell phones – always do a market survey. Ask around other shops for their prices and talk to other people on how much they paid for it. Then finally zero in on a shop to buy it from. Getting good deals will automatically help you improve your savings account.
Sketch A Savings Plan: It is always a great idea to sketch out your own savings plan. You can either decide to put aside some money each month or you can save a few bucks daily. The decision is yours and the amount you want to save is also your choice.
Record Daily Expenses: This is a very good habit, if you are really serious about money management. It is a little difficult to follow thrugh but the rewards are always great. You can keep a notepad and fill it up with details of each buck spent every day. Do it regularly and you can find expenditures where you can trim from the following month.
Prefer Your College Mess: This tip is again out of personal experience. If you are one of those students who hates the college canteen/mess food then you spend a lot eating outside. Again, I think eating out is okay but it is expensive to eat outside every day. Prefer your college mess – it is almost always ridiculously cheap compared to anywhere else and the food is nutritious enough. Although I agree that the taste might not really be one of the positives.
Make A Budget: This need not be a very complicated array of numbers. A serious and feasible figure on how much you are capable of spending. A budget will allow you to practice restraint on unwanted expenditures.
Explore The World Of Second-Hand: When you are in college, there are many expenditures like copies, text books, files etc. Always go for second hand for things like these. Better yet, ask your seniors for old text books that they do not require anymore. Most of them would be glad to get rid of all the unwanted books.
Dump The Change: I personally use this tip to ensure good financial health. At the end of the day when you return back to your room or dorm. You will be sure to have a few loose change on you after all the expenditures. Dump the extra change into a jar and forget about it. Do this long enough and you will find that you have just accrued a decent lump sum.
Find Cheaper Sources of Entertainment: The movie ticket prices are going through the roof, a decent lunch at a nice place can burn a big hole in your pocket. It becomes very important that you find alternative sources of entertainment that will be cheaper for you.
Find A Source of Extra Cash: It is always smart to have an extra source of income other than the pocket money from your parents. There are so many ways to generate some extra cash, especially on the internet.
Above all, money management is for effective use of money and not for getting miserly. You are in college, so make the most of this time and have a blast. You do not want any kind of regrets later that make you feel your college life was unremarkable.