Welcome back! College is not easy, especially if you do not manage your money well. These are steps I find helpful in making my life financially sound in college!
Calculate Your Average Income
Know roughly much money you make each term (weekly, biweekly, monthly). The time you use is dependent on the type of job you have and your pay period. Calculating income is harder if you have a position in which your income is less predictable, such as being a waiter/waitress.
Example: Income- $9.00/hour, pay period- every two weeks. If you work four days a week and you work 6 hours every shift, you work for 48 hours within a biweekly pay period. $9.00 X 48 hours= $432
Calculate Goal Savings & Spendings
When you calculate income, you can establish spending goals. Please make sure they are realistic. Tailor your goals to your experience.
Example: You have $432 to save/spend for the next two weeks. If you want to save $100, you have $332 to buy everything you need.
I’ve found that establishing spending priorities and categorizing spending helps to budget. If you have a meal plan, for example, you most likely do not need to prioritize a grocery shopping goal.
Example: Calculate how much money you usually spend on gas and groceries. Establish how much you want to spend on fun, eating out, or other miscellaneous activities. Stick to your categories.
By logging your spending, you can assess if your meeting your goals. Sometimes it is hard to realize you are not following your money goals, and you do not want to recognize that when all the money is gone.
Example: Collect your recipes. Don’t just throw them away or lose them on your car floor. Sit down and add up the take out food costs and random spending as you go along, so you always know how much more you can spend.
Cut Unnecessary Spending
If you are trying to stretch your money, reduce or eliminate charges that are not necessary. These charges include activities such as getting your nails done, eating out, and splurge purchases.
Budgeting app: YNAB (you need a budget) available on the app store or online. This app helped me to visualize my budgeting strategy.