Like most students I don't have a lot of money, so I have to spend my money wisely. However, who says that just because I am in college I always have to feel strapped for cash. With proper management and commitment to saving I don't have to feel like I can't afford to do anything. I think it is important to learn how to manage money now because it only becomes more complicated in the future. After being in college for several years, I have learned important lessons about saving now and for the future.
1. Don't buy any luxury item unless you can afford to buy it twice.
Someone brought this up in my class and I thought it was such a good idea. For all you (I am guilty of this as well) who buy things that you don't need at the moment, really think about the purchase. Could you live without it until you can really afford it? Why do you want it? Is it because you want to?
2. Cook food...and stick to a grocery list.
I know that were all guilty of going to grocery store without a list or even worse on an empty stomach. Whenever I do this, I end up with 20 items I don't even need and spend about $50 more than I expected. The first step to saving money, is to stop going out for food all the time. After you try it several times you may actually find that you like cooking your own food.
3. Make a budget and track monthly spending.
One of the reasons I decided to write this article was because I just had a spending budge project for my class. It's good practice for the future and can really hone in on areas where you may spend too much money.
4. Don’t try to keep up with other people.
I know this one step seems difficult and kind of irrelevant as well since college is a time to have fun. Just remember that you don't have to say yes to everything that everyone wants to do. Staying in for the night can be just as fun as going out.
5. Utilize campus resources.
I never knew that my campus offered different options for students who couldn't necessarily afford groceries or wanted cheaper options for groceries. I found out that my college participates in a food pantry, which is a place where students can go to get free food if they can't afford groceries that week. My school also has discounted prices for fruits and vegetables, so that you can still have healthy food that doesn't cost that much.
I know it's only five quick tips, but I'm hoping that they are helpful. Money is also a concern for students who need to pay their rent, bills, and buy groceries. Hopefully, these ideas can encourage you to start saving and spending your money better.