Surviving College On A Budget

Learning how to budget money can be rough. In high school, my parents were the ones who bought the groceries and put gas in the car. When I started college, I had to learn to keep track of my money and how to spend it wisely. Here are a few ways to make sure you stay on top of things:

  •  Make a monthly budget

Each month, plan out what you know you’ll spend on the essentials. Planning ahead will keep you from living beyond your means and will ensure that you don’t get any unpleasant surprises when you check your bank balance.

  • Keep track of what you spend

If you’re anything like I was freshman year, you check your balance at the end of the month and wonder where all the money went. After a few angry calls from my mom about overdraft charges, I learned to keep track of what I was spending. A few dollars for coffee or food every day adds up pretty quickly if you’re not paying attention. To avoid this, I withdraw cash every week and make sure not to spend more than that on things like eating out.

  • Learn to shop on a budget

There are a few secrets to saving money that any good college student knows. For example, when my mom stopped taking me shopping, my new favorite store became Goodwill. You can get shirts and sweaters for $3, which means an entire wardrobe for $30. I even got a winter jacket there for $6. You can also buy more than just clothes at Goodwill; they sell candy, jewelry, movies, board games, and home decorations.

Websites like Amazon.com are also great for saving money, especially on books and electronics.

As far as groceries go, a few versatile staples can hold you over for a week or two. A little bit of pasta or rice goes a long way.

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Selma Haveric

Selma Haveric

Selma Haveric is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying journalism and Spanish. When she’s not studying, she loves reading, traveling and bike riding. She’s currently deciding whether to go to law school or to postpone her studies for a year and teach English in Spain.
Selma Haveric

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