How To Budget Money In College While Still Having A Good Time
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How To Budget Money In College While Still Having A Good Time

Featuring the NextGenVest Money Mentors.

How To Budget Money In College While Still Having A Good Time

As fun as college can be throughout your four or so years of an undergraduate degree, it also means that a ton of responsibility is hoisted up on your shoulders, most likely involuntarily. Suddenly money is no longer just an object that you can recklessly spend anywhere you want and budgeting becomes a hard but important tool you're forced to master. Especially if you have a job on or off campus, you won't just want to blow through all of your hard earned money the day after your get your paycheck!

But thankfully, NextGenVest and their helpful team of Money Mentors and interns have got some perfect tips and tricks to help you stretch that dollar as wide and far as it can go! The NextGenVest team is full of qualified and certified college students all over the country, who are currently going through the process of paying for college themselves. Their goal? To help you out in every way possible through the ins and outs of college, especially when it comes to the scariest topic of them all: how the heck you're going to pay for this expensive time in your life!

To help you out, here are some smart and simple ways to budget your money in college while still having a blast.

NavpreetKhabra, a NextGenVest Money Mentor and student at UC Santa Barbara, says that free stuff is totally the answer to a good (and cheap) college experience! "When hanging out with friends, try to do things that are free like visiting the park." Other free activities include the multiple different events going on all over your college campus that won't cost you a dime, Netflix movie marathons in someone's dorm room, hiking different trails in your area, or events in the community that are free of charge! Another Money Mentor named Jenny Pi also mentioned "baking or cooking with friends! It's an activity for you all to have fun and be occupied for a little while with, plus it's way cheaper than eating out!" Take advantage of every free event on campus that interest you, as you're technically paying for them with your student activities fee in your tuition!

Julie Liu, an Impact Leader at NextGenVest and student at Cinco Ranch High School, talked about how you can save some money on your super expensive textbooks. "Instead of purchasing brand new textbooks at full price, search around to buy used books from different websites or even a former student at your college who has already taken the course! If your professor allows it, then it's significantly cheaper to purchase older editions (one edition before is usually substantially cheaper than the newest version." It's also a smart idea to consider purchasing e-books for a mobile device, kindle tablet, or laptop to use, as they are generally much cheaper than the physical paper copies. The less you spend on textbooks, the more you can spend on other cool things... that's how that works, right?

Timothy Ahn, a NextGenVest Money Mentor and student at UC San Diego, talked about one subject that students love: care packages from their friends and family! "If you're getting care packages from your parents either in the mail or when they come to visit you in college, you can actually have it set up so that your parents could order you groceries through and have them shipped right to your college! With an Amazon Prime membership, it's quite a good deal!" Especially if your college has meal plans that will only allow you a certain amount of meals throughout the week, having groceries sent straight to your building every few weeks can definitely be helpful! It might not be as typical and fantastic as a care package with a $20 in it and some homemade cookies and candy, but hey, it'll get you through the late night study sessions when you're craving something to eat!

Jenny Pi, a NextGenVest Money Mentor and student at the UC San Diego, gave some great advice when it comes to transportation in college. "Carpool when you take a Lyft or Uber cab. In fact, invite your friends and then carpool jointly when you use the free credits to parties! Double that free credit! Plus carpooling makes the ride over to your destination more fun!" And if your town hasn't added Uber or Lyft cabs in your area yet, it's always cheaper to split a cab between more than just one person when going out for the night! Or if your college offers free transportation through the city bus system, take advantage of that free ride!

Dana Marvin (Oh hey, that's me!), a NextGenVest Money Mentor and senior at SUNY Oneonta gave the low down on how to get around paying full price for things in college! "If you're a shopaholic such as myself, use different apps and websites to get discounts or even cash back! is a god send, as it will literally give you a percentage of the cash you spent online shopping right back into your pocket! Double the shopping!" Also, never EVER feel silly or ashamed to use a coupon! There are tons of different websites out there that will give specific discounts to students just for presenting your valid college ID card, so take advantage of them as much as you possibly can!"

Jacqueline Huang, a NextGenVest Operations Intern and student at New York University Stern, says it's all about keeping track of where and how you're spending your money. "Get a spending app to track your expenses versus your income! I did and it made me aware of the areas I could focus on improving, like eating out, going to the movies, and other activities." A lot of the time students just don't see how much they're spending on certain categories until the money is already long gone. Apps on your phone will show you your spending habits right on the screen so you can learn from your mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again!

If you're freaking out about how you're going to afford all of your expenses throughout college, the NextGenVest staff of Money Mentors is here to help! From personalized scholarships, to helping you find the perfect school for you, to helping you through the torturous process of financial aid, the Money Mentors at NGV have your back 100% of the way! We will even personally help you set up a practical budget to get you through college without burning a hole in your wallet!

Go to or text "I need help paying for college" to our 24/7 hotline at 646-798-1745 to be matched up with a Money Mentor!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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