As college students we hear it over and over…….. and over again…… Responsibly managing our finances and sticking to a budget is important. It may get old to hear that friendly advice so much, but in reality it is vital to our success. Some of us may feel that reality more than others, but our survival while in college depends largely on our budgeting skills.
In addition to the standard budgeting instructions we all hear about so much, there is one trick that has helped me the most. My best piece of money advice is to budget for the entire semester and allocate the entire amount of any money received.
- Immediately after receiving a financial aid refund disbursement put the money where it should go until the entire amount has been allocated.
- Pay the current monthly bills.
- Mark on a semester/yearly budget what bills will be paid with the remaining money.
- Transfer that money into a separate account until it is time to pay those bills.
This has helped me see finances from a reality perspective and stick to my budget plan better. When something comes up and I have to take money out of the separate account I see the bill it was allocated for instead of just a bunch of money. So, it forces me to consider what I will need to do to replace it. Instead of just spending a little extra money I am spending a bill like rent for example. Although I have had to remain flexible, this perspective has helped me manage my finances with greater responsibility.