Money management is a big responsibility, no matter what financial status you hold. It is probably a priority for all of us knowing how important it is. And if you are a student or have just started working you might find balancing a bank account and the money in it a doubly difficult thing.
If you are unable to find out the reasons for shrinking bank savings or empty wallets even before the month ends, then you definitely have to do something about it. There could be many reasons like you are away from home for studies and it is the first time you are handling your money, or it is your first job and still not sure how to manage your expenses.
Whatever it is, you realize you are not managing your budget correctly, you know you need some help with managing money while in college or working.
Here are 10 quick tips, that will help you learn money management.
1. Budgeting should include everything
To put your finances in order, you will first need to find out where your money is being spent. Once you know your expenses you can plan your budget. Usually, people assume their maximum expenses are from recurring bills, so those are the only things that need to be added to a monthly budget. Give a deep thought and you will be surprised to know where all your money gets consumed so fast.
Therefore, it is wise enough to allocate funds for every small and big expense to your monthly budget, starting from eating out, movies, entertainment stuff, late-night parties, books and stationery, utility bills, socializing, personal care, healthcare, and other essentials, etc. Also, your budget should also include a portion for savings from your money every month, which is a very essential part.
So, budgeting does not only mean your recurring bills but everything for which you have to bear some cost.
2. Don’t overlook student discounts
Once you are enrolled in college, you will receive a lot of student offers, deals, and discounted prices from many places. This could be for buying laptops, movie tickets, streaming services, insurance policies, opening a bank account, purchasing at major retail outlets, and many other places. You will always have the option to choose, so you can do a proper comparison before you use them.
3. Automate your savings
You may not understand the importance of saving a small amount every month in the beginning, but you will get the fruits later in life. You need to be a little patient and continue to follow this ritual of keeping aside some amount from your monthly earnings/expenses for savings. Often you may struggle to convince yourself to start small savings, so it would be a great idea if you decided to automate your savings. You can ask your bank if they can help you start the process of saving. If you have doubts, you can talk to your bank officials and find out what would be the best option.
4. Create your own fun space
Usually, people love to indulge in social and entertainment activities and go out to eat. And all this has a good amount of expenses. But, then if you overdo it, your monthly budget will get affected. Therefore, you will need to find out ways to cut down on expenses that can be managed differently. You can do a lot of things to maintain your expenses within your capacity. So, starting to create your own fun space is one of the best ideas you can think of.
You can try some in-house fun activities, rent a movie, and add some entertainment and game activities to the event, and with all this, you can create your own fun space. Without a doubt, you will find many friends joining you and you all together saving some cash as well.
5. Keep a check on automated subscriptions
In this age of online subscriptions for monthly offers by media, fashion, and other shopping brands, you will need to act smartly and safely. Do not fall into their trap as most of the subscriptions may require a monthly fee. This will check your unnecessary expenses. You can allocate that money to some more essential things or let it stay in your savings.
So, though you may miss some offers on weekly meal plans and some discounts on apparel and makeup, avoiding unnecessary subscription fees will help you prune your overall monthly expenses.
6. Cook your own food
This can be another way to cut down on your expenses. However, cooking your own food does not mean you can never go out to eat. You can definitely go out to grab your favorite dish or snack or even go out dining with friends occasionally, but make sure, you do not make it a regular habit.
Even cooking can be fun, creative, and even a lovely moment for socializing. Though you will need to plan ahead as you will need to do a lot of purchasing, you will still save a lot of money. You can learn some simple, easy-to-make, quick-to-cook recipes, and flavourful dishes, that will not take away much of your time. Moreover, when many of your friends are with you, you can try different dishes from different parts of the world. It will be a great way to get to know each other better.
7. Grab opportunities to earn extra cash
Work if it does not become an obstacle to your studies. Moreover, find out from your academic advisor at college if it is okay to do a part-time job or freelance. However, it is also important to see that once you take a job, you are easily giving time for your studies. You will find many freelancing jobs that you can do effortlessly. You can plan to pick them up. With this, you will not only make some extra cash to meet some of your expenses, but you will also gain some experience.
8. Keep your cash ready, instead of credit cards
The habit of swiping your credit card for every purchase is too simple. But then, it does not keep your expenses in check and you end up overspending. Yes, withdrawing cash is a little difficult in this age of plastic cards that do work swiftly, but by taking a little pain you can avoid overspending. Usually, when you have to give cash for every purchase, you will not get into an impulsive purchase mode.
9. Use online coupons for students
You will find many stores, eateries, shops, and many other businesses offering different discounts coupons, and online deals if you walk into their stores for a purchase. Plenty of online platforms keep sending you deal notifications that can help you know your offer and promotional codes that you can use to avail of the deal discounts. It works for everything, whether you want to grab a pizza deal or discounts on some other purchases.
10. Stay safe from the ‘buy one get one free’ mentality
This ‘buy one get one’ or ‘save 5 bucks on your next purchase’ can be disastrous most of the time. Usually, people fall prey to these marketing gimmicks easily and end up buying things, which are not needed. At the end of the month you realize, you are not even using most of your purchases, as you never needed them, or may have used them just for once out of excitement. This type of purchase can badly impact your monthly budget and you need to control your spending by controlling your temptation to run to the store the moment you receive such offers.
So, in your hunger to save 5 bucks, you end up consuming all the money that you had kept for monthly expenses.
Be careful when you are out shopping or even if you are shopping online. Be a conscious buyer. Think before making purchases that is, do you really need what you are buying or are you buying just because it is offering you some discount coupon or something free?
If you can incorporate the above-discussed tips and tricks into your daily life, you will be able to bring a major transformation in your budget management while in college or at work. These simple tips to manage your finances well will make you feel more confident in your financial standing while you are studying.