Life Hacks: College Budgeting

By KATHERYN KNARR

Contributing Writer

Now that you have moved in, set up your room and taken several trips to Walmart, your wallet is probably looking a little bare. Thankfully you know that your next paycheck is right around the corner. Then as soon as you get it, you will probably blow it on movies or video games and be right back where you started. This is one of the major problems that most college students have. “The Starving College Student” stereotype didn’t just come out of thin air.

One of the best things you can do to try and avoid living paycheck to paycheck is to create a budget for yourself. After college there are more than enough financial responsibilities that are just waiting to eat away at your checking account. If you can’t manage your money with virtually no bills to pay, it will translate once you graduate and have to go into the real world. Nothing is more embarrassing than going out with friends and having your card be declined for insufficient funds. A good budget helps you cut back on impulse purchases and gives you more control over your purchasing decisions.

Follow these easy steps to get your budget started:

1. Know where your money is coming from (Paychecks, Your Parents, etc.)

2. Make a list of fixed costs (what you have to spend) and flexible costs (what you want to spend)

3. Decide how much money you are going to assign each item or activity on the list

4. Stick to the plan