As an average college student, you may not have all the money you need to go by. Your main income may be the little pocket money you get from your parents or the little money you make from the part time work you do. The only exception to this scenario is college students whose parents are extremely rich and they form much less than 2% of the total population of students.
So it is vital that as a student, you learn to management your money wisely; if not, you will find yourself becoming broke just few days after you get paid. In this article, I will discuss some money management tips that will guide a college student to managing the small income he or she gets and even have some to save.
Top 10 Money Management Tips for College Students
1. Make a Budget of Your Basic Needs-: You have to keep track of your expenses if you wish to manage your money wisely. As a college student, most of the facilities you need are provided for in the school campus and they are covered in the tuition fee (that is if you are staying inside the college campus). Make a list of basic items you need for the week and stick to them.
2. Avoid Impulse Buying-: The main habit that can make a student broke is if the student has this uncontrollable impulse to buy anything he or she needs without self control. One way to cub this is to ask yourself this question whenever you are tempted to make a purchase ‘do I really need this item, or can I do without it’, if you can do without that particular item, let it go to some other time; console yourself with the fact that after you graduate and start making good money, you can get yourself any item you need.
3. Shop for Used Books and EBooks-: Find shops and ecommerce sites where you can shop for used books or eBooks which is much cheaper than getting a brand new book. Of course if the version of the used books is outdated, then you have to get yourself a newer version. Also, unless you are studying a professional course like Law and Medicine where you will still need to consult your college books and notes after graduation, you may consider selling your used books and use the money to get yourself new set of books.
4. Pay Your Bills on Time-: Students have this thing about paying their bills the last minute. If you have to money to pay your bill why will you delay in making the payment? Always pay your bills on time to avoid any late payment charges.
5. If You Can Do Without a Car, Leave It Out-: Most of the locations inside the college premises are a walking distance. If you can do without a car, just leave until you graduate. You don’t need all the extra bills for insurance, fueling the car and all that.
6. Share Your Apartment and Bills-: This is for students staying in apartments outside the college premises; you can share the apartment with some of your friends so that you guys can share the bills. You can also opt to share the grocery bills or buy in bulk at discount prices.
7. Mind Your Meal Plan-: Food is something we can’t do without, many campuses make provision for meal plans to help students buy food within the campus at a reduced rate. As a student, you can start with a basic food plan and renew it when it expires to avoid the temptation of your friends leaching on you for their feeding if they get to know that you have a multiple meal plan. Apart from that reason, you get to save money by buying basic meal plans.
8. You Can Swap Instead of Buying Brand New-: There are stores online and inside the campus that allows you return your used item in exchange of a new one and a small payment. You can make use of this service instead of spending a lot to get brand new items when you are not still making use of the old one you already have.
9. Have Small Savings No Matter How Small-: Many students will complain that they barely have enough money to go bye, talk more of some to save. But this is a discipline that you have to cultivate that will take you a long way in life. You can start with saving as small as 5 percent; as surprising as it may sound; if you can’t save now that you have very small, you may not still be able to save after graduation when you start earning more.
10. Reduce Extravagant Life Style-: If you indulge in extravagant lifestyle like partying, going to club with friends, then you will find out that you get to spend a lot. For example, if you go for clubbing, you will have to pay a small fees to be admitted inside the club; you can sit ideal inside the cub without ordering for drinks for yourself and for your friends most times; add it up to the number of times you do this in a month, you will be surprised in amount you spend to fund this lifestyle.
11. Pick Up a Campus Job-: I know that I said ten tips, but I couldn’t resist adding this point. Even if you minimize your spending, your income may still not be enough for your upkeep depending on how small your pocket money is. You can pick up some minor jobs inside the campus to make some extra money for yourself; or if you are very good in any of your courses, you can charge your course mates some money to help put them through the course; the money may not be much , so you can spend it on getting a meal plan.