College Students: Learn to Budget
Debt isn’t fun. No body likes it. As a college student however, debt can be unavoidable, especially given the current climate surrounding the rising costs of higher education. Very few of you are getting away without some form of financial assistance.
Here at Texan Insurance, we want to help you get out of debt fast (relatively, at least), and that starts with creating an appropriate budget.
Learn to budget
The very first thing you need to know about budgeting is that a budget is worthless if you don’t stick to it. So it is important that when you make your budget you do so with the intention of actually using it.
Monitor your monthly expenses
Before you start in on creating your budget, it is a good idea to monitor your spending habits for a month and keep track of your expenses. Knowing what you are spending your money on now is important for determining what you can cut later. We recommend that you create a simple spreadsheet and fill it in as you go. After that first month, you will know where your money is going.
Trim the fat
There are two types of expenses: wants and needs. While the wants probably won’t exceed the needs, you will undoubtedly notice that you are spending money on a whole lot of things you don’t need, like twenty-some-odd lattes a month or excessive parking fees. Our advice is to separate the two categories out and, based on your monthly income, determine which of the wants stays, and which goes.
This worksheet from American Student Assistance is a great place to start for those of you who have never made your own budget before.
Stick to it
As we stated right there at the top, once you create a budget you need to stick to it. Remember, the goal isn’t to break even; the goal is to save and get those student loans paid off.