Benjamin Franklin once said nothing is certain but death and taxes. We’d like to amend that list by adding a modern certainty: college costs a ton of money. Tuition, rent, parties, meals, and a myriad of other adventures probably drain your bank account. Start replenishing for the upcoming holiday season with some tips on how to budget better:
1. Calculate your expendable monthly income.
That’s not your paycheck. That’s your paycheck after bills, rent, your loan payments, and any extra you set aside for savings. Your new goal: figure out that number and never spend more than it.
2. Buy for function, not status.
Why buy new when you can buy refurbished or used? This is especially true for things like clothes, electronics, and furniture.
3. Make lists and stick to them.
Whether you’re going to the grocery store or the shopping mall, write down what you need ahead of time so you don’t end up buying everything you want.
4. Cut your costs.
Even small cuts count. Did you know brewing your coffee at home instead of hitting Starbucks every day could save you over $100 a month? Get creative and challenge yourself to start saving more.
5. Practice self-restraint.
Life is an expensive endeavor in large part due to the cost of staying entertained — going out to eat, drink, going to movies, concerts, buying video games, and more. Try having free fun instead. Start by checking out your campus’ event calendar. Then get creative with your friends — think home movie nights instead of nights out on the town.