How to Manage Your Money in College

Money management starts early in life, way before you join college. Many college students find that their parents’ wallets are no longer satisfactory for their needs.

When many people join college, they see it as an exciting time for them. Many know about a new environment, new social circles and how to start living independently for the first time. However, the start comes with responsibilities that you need to handle – how to manage your money.

The following six tips help you to navigate the murky waters of college financial independence and form the foundation for the future.

Come Up With a Budget

One of the issues that plague many college students is impulsive buying. This is why you need a budget. Make sure you have a list of income sources such as parental allowance, wages and savings, then go down and write down the expenses for the month.

It might not be easy to identify the expenses in advance, to this effect, talk to an older student to get an idea of what to include on the list.

You can use an online financial management tool that can help you come up with and manage the budget. Check out this post to know how to stretch what you have to meet your needs.

Know Wants, and Needs

You ought to know what you want and what you need. Wants are those you can do without, and needs are those you cannot do without. This is usually easy to do when you have been on campus for a little bit longer.

When you have the needs and the wants listed out, you should try to find out what is a priority and what isn’t. Eliminate the wants that come at the bottom of the list, and go for needs, and a few wants that you can afford.

Have a Checking Account

Having money in the form of cash is a temptation that many people fail to handle. The good thing is that colleges offer free checking accounts, therefore make sure you open one. Move around and find a bank that has a convenient ATM near the campus so that you have access to the cash in case of emergencies.

Don’t Abuse Credit Cards

Studies show that over 70 percent of college students own one or more credit cards. Many get out of school with credit card debts, which make a start to life tough and unpredictable. Make sure you live within your means so that you do not start your out-of-school life with debts.