How To Budget As A College Student In 2022

how to budget as a college student

As most of us have been to college, we are aware of how difficult it is to budget as a college student because you are already broke. It is a very hard time in which many students try to work part-time in order to make some extra money. 

Furthermore, because of the very young age (in most cases), college students have just begun to learn how to manage properly their money. This leads to making unnecessary expenses and wasting a lot of money. 

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In modern times, when economies hurt all over the world we are highly affected too. The concept of a “loan” is very popular as we can’t rely on our salary in order to cover some extra expenses. This is exactly why we all must know money-saving strategies and how to manage our money frugally, budget, and not waste it.

In addition, living frugally and on a budget is a very good solution. Cutting down on some unnecessary expenses we make every month ( we all do) can really make a difference. Also, if your monthly salary allows it, try to save at least 5% of your salary and set it aside.

Saving money can be a life-saver. In desperate times, when you face great difficulty or you find yourself out of job, you will need this money. Let’s see then, how to live frugally and how to save money in the best and most efficient way possible!

How to Budget As A College Student In 2022

Living On A Budget

Living on a budget though can be accomplished by a college student too. In order to accomplish that, you need to find balance. Friday nights don’t need five drinks to be fun. Limit your intake, everything in moderation and within reason.

Balance means spending a rather sufficient amount of money on every “domain” of your life. In particular, make sure to spend “good” money on your diet and education. At the same time, avoid purchasing unnecessary clothes, accessories, or video and PC games.

In addition, if you have the habit of smoking or drinking a lot, this is your opportunity to clean up your diet! Both of those vices are compromising your health and hampering your financial income capacity. 

Frugal Spending Habits

Avoid all those stops at Mcdonald’s. It is challenging at times to cook healthy successfully all of the time, but it is really important. If you spend more money on buying groceries and cooking, you will see a huge difference in your finances. Eating food at restaurants is nice on occasion, but it shouldn’t become a weekly routine

Another tip to save some money is to make coffee at home. Buying your coffee every day can cost up to 40 dollars per week (it also depends on the coffee you buy). That’s a lot of money! Instead, use that money to buy a coffee machine and make your coffee at homeAcorns is a wonderful investing app that will automatically transfer some of the “loose change” from your everyday purchases.

Savings Planner

It is a great idea to create a list or a plan regarding your savings. I am sure you have some yearly expenses that come with a high cost. By prioritizing each need you want to cover, you can start saving for each one of them.

I recommend you to start with the most expensive one first, although it may take longer to cover but, every need after that will be easier to save money for.  Also, by starting with the most expensive one, you get more motivated and quite fast and can create a snowball effect wanting you to pay off more sooner. 

In addition, make sure to create a feasible plan with every need, that does not scare or overwhelm you. Don’t set unreachable goals but at the same time make them a bit demanding. You can be motivated to work hard through your savings planner and this is very important for you, your work, and your needs!

Debt Pay-off Planner

It happens sometimes and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We can not always afford to pay for everything. Hence, we borrow some money from a friend or get a loan from the bank. By planning everything, you can pay back the money you borrowed easily. This is how to budget as a college student the right way.

Make a list of every expense you have for each month and decide which one can provide enough funds by cutting it, allowing you to pay back the borrowed money. For example, you buy every month a sweater. This can be excluded from your expenses list for some time. Instead, save that money and when they reach the wanted amount, pay your debt!

Another tip is to work a bit more (more shifts) if possible–and save that extra money for paying the debt. 

Paying back debt isn’t something you need to be hasty about- take your time, plan it out and everything will work out fine.

Expense tracker

Keeping track of your expenses can be a great help in both saving money and living frugally. 

First of all, when tracking your expenses you can easily understand if you are spending more money than expected on something in particular. In addition, keeping track of everything you pay can help you realize if every single expense is necessary. 

Keeping an expense tracker on a monthly basis can be beneficial, but, if you can actually track your expenses every week, your planner will be more thorough and you will be able to identify every single expense of yours- however small or large. 

Keep in mind that every kind of expense counts. From the money, you spend on your coffee to the money you spend on taking a taxi. Having a thorough planner gives you a thorough understanding of your expenses. 

The Significance of Money-Saving Strategies

I am sure you are aware of all the apparent reasons why you should save money. Nevertheless, let me ask you something. Do you think your iPhone will last forever? I don’t think so. When we think about emergencies that require extra money, we always think about a health issue or work issue. 

The objects we own don’t last forever. Especially our phones! Having a phone is very important since it’s the fastest and easiest way to communicate. You certainly would not like to have any money to buy a new phone. 

Self-Care Is Important

Other than that, think of periods in your life during which you are going to need an “escape”. For example, if you are very stressed at work and want to get away for a bit, you are going to need that extra money.

Also, caring about yourself can sometimes come at some high prices. Take yourself to a spa or to get a massage. Unfortunately, these options are not cheap. Another issue was resolved with some extra money!

Moreover, it is critical to always save money for serious emergencies. It could be a medical examination or a necessary certification for work. That’s why you – and I- need to save.

Smart Saving Goals

Starting a ” Smart Savings” account can really help you set aside money. You can do that through Truebill. It is very practical and customer-friendly. You can choose exactly how much money you want to transfer and when you want the transfers to occur. There is no limit and a bare minimum deposit cost. 

This is very useful since you might be able to set aside 50 dollars every month but then your internet service requires a bigger fee. Then, you can just change the amount and maybe lower it to 20 dollars. There is no problem with that! 

This digital solution is a very clever choice. Think that if you were to put that money(cash) somewhere in the house, you would always be tempted to just go and take it because an emergency occurred. By opening this “Smart Savings” account, you simply can’t do that very easily.

Living Frugally As A Couple

It is very usual to spend a lot of money with your companion on “couply” things. It is understandable. Moreover, this can have a negative impact on your relationship. Especially at the beginning of your relationship, you might go over the edge in order to impress the other and win her/ him. Your finances will absolutely get heartbroken though!

You can still go on dates and spend quality time with each other while spending less money. For example, you can find offers and discounts or tickets for a museum exhibition, a theatrical play, or for the movies. It might be a bit time-binding but is still the same experience. You can also cook together rather than eat at a restaurant. 

In addition, keep in mind that not everything can be purchased. Find ways to spend time with each other without buying things or booking tickets. Simplicity is indeed the key!

Another money-saving strategy is to share things. For example, when taking a trip or booking tickets, try to split the money. In this way, it is cheaper for both of you. 

You can also benefit from a couple’s offers for a romantic dinner or for a weekend getaway for example. 

Keep in mind that there are many activities that don’t cost much and that can still provide some memorable experiences such as wine-tasting, exercising together, cooking (classes), excursions, etc.

Most importantly, when you spend a lot of time with your relationship outside you are very likely to spend your money on shopping and fast food. You can also try investing more time in staying inside, and spending quality time with each other in the house. You can start reading together or watch a series on Netflix! 

Final Thoughts

After reading my money-saving strategies and advice, I hope you gained a more clear understanding of saving and living a frugal life. It is not always easy to make changes in our lives, especially in the financial domain. Moreover, saving money and spending it in a clever way can really improve your finances both in the short and long term. 

Even if you are a college student or in a relationship, there are always solutions! Try to keep a planner for everything and organize your needs and expenses. Getting a closer look at what you spend on a regular basis will provide more opportunities to improve your lifestyle and live more frugal but with good quality of life at the same time.

You should not restrict yourself too much or exclude certain habits(unless they are too expensive). You just have to be more organized, consistent, and stick to your goal-setting agenda. 

Try to avoid taking a loan, but if that happens don’t worry too much. Make a plan, gather the money slowly but in a stable manner and eventually, you will have enough money to pay off your debts!

Choose to adopt your new frugal budgeting habits with a smile!