Budgeting and being aware of how to spend and save money can be difficult, especially when you are a young college student who is discovering what freedom and being independent is like for the first time. Not only is college expensive but as kids and teenagers most of us do not realize the high cost of our everyday essentials, entertainment and activities, so when we reach that independence its sometimes hard for us to have to spend all of our money on these things and for us to be a responsible adult.
At 18, I'm a financially independent college student. I've already started making payments towards my student loans, pay a portion of my phone bill, and pay for all of my sorority fees out of pocket. On top of this I am financially responsible for buying my everyday expenses, such as food, toiletry items, gas, etc. As a student at a large university who is very involved, it's sometimes difficult to have so much responsibility.
Having to be this independent isn't necessarily a bad thing though, in fact, I prefer it this way. I'm actually grateful my parents aren't paying for my college and that I have to be independent. I feel more prepared for when I graduate and am completly independent and have rent, bills and countless other expenses. I've also been able to grasp something many people my age and even older than I have not. The value of money and how to properly manage it.
I believe that this is so hard for most people to save and budget because we are constantly surrounded my temptation to spend money. Everywhere you go you're almost required to spend money and if not, there is always something catching you're eye that you know you don't need but you want. For me, the easiest way to fight that temptation is to write out my expenses, budget and savings plan and to constantly look at my finances as a reminder that there are more important things to be spending my money on.
I see so many of my peers go out and waste all of their money every week, while I choose save and work to pay for college while I am still a student. Many students now days take out loans knowing that they don't have to be paid off until after they graduate so they don't worry about all the money their spending. For me, I would rather be a broke college student that works all the time than be paying off my student loans for the next 20 years of my life.
While I made the decision to pay for my education while still a student, it is no easy task. I work most days in between my classes, which means I have to make sure I have enough time study and do any assignments. On top of school and work, I also have manitory events and meetings in my sorority.
All of this makes my life a little more stressful than the average college students. Regardless of the stress and the extra work though, I'm grateful for my financial independence and I feel that I am better prepared for the "real world" and for what ever life throws at me.