Friday, August 11, 2017

3 Budgeting Tips for Newly-Independent College Students

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College is expensive - this is well-known. The real price of college doesn’t really hit new students until they are in the middle of their first semester sitting in their dorm room eating ramen and selling old clothes and shoes to buy one last book.

The rising tuition costs, student loans, and the real world costs of living on your own can hit fast, so preparing yourself for college life will benefit you more than you realize. It may not seem like it, but the decisions you make with your finances while you are beginning and in college will have a significant effect on your financial future. Knowing how to budget your money wisely – especially if you are taking out student loans – will be very important in the long run.

AdobeStock_19674187.jpegLive Within Your Means

It’s okay to go out with your friends and to make late night runs to the grab-and-go now and then, but don’t make it a weekly event. Knowing how much extra spending money you have each week and not spending more than that said amount is vital to staying afloat financially. You don’t need to order Domino’s every week, no matter what your roommate tries to convince you. The Federal Student Aid website also lays out some guidelines about how to not get behind on your finances when you’re in college.

Don’t Overestimate Your Income

If you work a job where your paycheck is about the same every week, that can make budgeting a bit easier to determine. If you have a college job where you earn your wages on tips or commission, however, this can be tricky. Overestimating your income or your paycheck can really hurt you when you open the envelope and it isn’t what you expected. That is why underestimating your weekly income and spending less than what you think you have will help you save money in the long run.

Start a Budget That Works For You

Everyone has different priorities and everyone spends their money differently. If you are looking to start a budget that works for you, Pinterest has a ton of great ideas for college students from how to balance school, a job, and a social life to where to put your money and what to spend it on.

No matter what school you decide to attend or how you decide to spend your money while you’re there, putting money into savings for books, school supplies and other necessities is very important. Finding a bank that will help you save for your future is also something that can benefit you greatly. St. Cloud Federal Credit Union is focused on your future, let us help you prepare for some of the greatest years of your life!

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