Before we start, though, it is important to note that budgeting can be stressful when you are pairing it with all the work and stress that already exists in college life. However, you aren’t alone in your stress and there are many resources available to you.
Students can often find themselves struggling in college to keep up academically since there is always something better to do than homework. When that happens and the school library can’t provide the essay help you need, consider trying this writing service so you can enjoy some quiet down time.
Start With The Basics
The basics of budgeting might seem like a simple idea but they are worth going over. Especially since recent studies have shown that as many as 51% of college students stated that they had no financial education in college and 30% noted that their parents hadn’t taught them much in the way of finances.
So, there are two main aspects of basic budgeting: know what you need to spend and know how much you make.
By understanding how much you make versus how much you spend, you can plan accordingly for what you have left over. When doing this, it is best to consider what you have to buy – like groceries or rent if you live off-campus – before you budget in what you want to buy.
When you start college, this budget can focus on the expenses you have at hand. As you get the hang of it, though, you should try to budget ahead. After all, if you have a bit of a plan to tackle the debt that comes with college you will be better prepared to handle it.
Just Because You Have It, Doesn’t Mean Spend It
The Associated Press recently released a statistic that stated that two-thirds of Americans would seriously struggle to come up with $1,000 in the case of an emergency.
While $1,000 might be a high benchmark, it is best to set some money aside as savings, just in case. This way, if you come down sick or you have a semester where your textbook bill is a little higher, you are prepared to deal with these expenses as they come.
Build Your Credit Carefully
However, you can build credit without holding your own credit card, if you are afraid of using one. For example, paying your loans on time or becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card – like a parent’s – can help to build your credit.
If you do use a credit card, there are a couple things you should do, though. When you keep these in mind, a credit card is more likely to be a useful tool in your budget rather than a vehicle for future financial struggles.
- Be sure to make your payments on time. The fastest way to rack up debt and hurt your credit is to miss your minimum monthly payments.
- Don’t spend more than you can handle. Remember you will have to eventually pay your purchases off – usually with interest – so make sure you are prepared for that the next time you make a big purchase.
- To avoid fees and negative results, try not to close credit card accounts prematurely.
International Students’ Considerations
If you are an international student, you might have additional concerns to worry about. For example, you are definitely going to need to consider where you are going to live as commuting definitely isn’t an option. There are a couple things that can help you out, though.
First, you are going to want to check into the university that you are attending’s financial aid options for international students. These financial aid packages can help you to afford your school related costs such as textbooks, tuition, and even housing if you choose to live on campus.
You should also take into consideration the difference in the value of money between your home country and the country you are moving to. After all, if you are saving up for your first semester abroad and you don’t take into account that money has different values in different countries, you might be disappointed when you don’t have as much as you thought when your money is exchanged.
When it comes down to it, the main idea behind budgeting while you are in college to plan ahead. The best thing you can do is to know how much you are making and generally how much you need to spend.
However, you should also be prepared for the unexpected. In the end, though, learning to budget is just one of many life lessons that college will teach you. Just keep these steps in mind and you’ll get the hang of budgeting in no time.
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