For many students, college is the first time that they have so much control over what they spend their money on. We’re buying more of our own meals, instead of eating our parents’ home-cooked food. We can decide which social events we want to spend on. The list goes on and on. Here are my best tips for managing money in college.
#1. Decide what your priorities are
If you want to save money for a big purchase rather than spending it, decide that beforehand. If you would rather spend your money on food than on clothes, decide that beforehand also. Everyone’s priorities are different. If you know what yours are, you won’t be frustrated that you spent all that money on junk food when what you really wanted was to go to a fun concert with your friends.
#2. Always assume things cost more
When planning your budget, always assume everything costs a little bit more than it does. You never know when there will be unexpected fees. Plus, it’s nice to have a little bit of money left over.
#3. Always pick the cheaper option
When faced with two options for how you’ll spend your time, always pick the cheaper one. This may seem obvious, but many of us are often tempted to do the more expensive thing. Try to get into a habit of doing things cheaply.
#4. Don’t buy anything unnecessary
Don’t spend money on things you don’t really need just because you have the money to spend. For example, if you see a t-shirt you like but don’t need, don’t buy it, even if you can. Instead, wait and save until there’s something you actually want.