How to manage your money in college

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013

money

Freshman year, I started out with a $200 weekly allowance from my father. I had gotten a scholarship and a few grants so my dorm cost and tuition was covered. Basically, I had the life until I began blowing through money, which led to my dad cutting me off.

Trust me you do not want this to happen to you. It sucks! In order to save you from what I went through, here is a list of tips and tricks to manage and save your money in college.

1. Create a budget

The good news here is that, unless you have a job, there is no budget to really create because you have your set limit of money to spend per week (if that is how your parents are allotting your money).

On the other hand, if you are paying for school yourself and work full-time then you are going to need to create one. I recommend opening an Excel sheet to type in your monthly expenses, such as your living expenses (dorm or apartment rent, electric, water, trash). Once you find out what your monthly cost of living is then you will know how much you do or do not have left over to spend on extra-curricular activities such as dining out and drinking.

2. Pay in cash

When I opened my first debit card I went swipe crazy. With a debit card you never see the money go so it is extremely easy to buy things and not think twice about whether or not you can afford it.

If you pay in cash then you see the money going and are less likely to spend money when you don’t have it. Another great thing about paying in cash is no outrageous overdraft fees.

3. Download apps

I just opened a new debit card at Chase and the first thing my dad says to me is “Download the app.” It’s annoying because he says this every time I open a card but he’s right. Downloading the app is the best way to keep track of your money.

Don’t just stick to your bank apps though. There are amazing budget apps such as Mint.com, which syncs with all your bank accounts and alerts you when you are going over budget. I highly recommend this app.

What are your money saving tricks? We’d love to hear them. Tell us in your comments below.

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