You have moved out, and you are living on your own for the first time. You have your own source of income and freedom. Now what? You don’t have to wait until you have graduated college to learn how to manage your money. Here are 5 simple steps to start budgeting as a college student.
List out your source(s) of income
Find out how much income you have coming in each month. This could include your paychecks or financial aid. You may not have a set income each month, and that is okay! Knowing on average how much income you receive a month is a great place to start with your budget because it determines how much you can spend on fun activities once you deduct your mandatory monthly expenses.
Find out your monthly expenses
How much do you spend on your rent, bills, class materials, or subscription services every month? Find out how much you spend on average each month and deduct that from your income. How much is left over? This will give you insight into your weekly allowance.
Know your weekly budget
Give yourself a weekly allowance that you can spend on necessities and fun things too. This can include anything from groceries to a football game with friends. Knowing ahead of time how much money you can spend for the week will help you stick to your budget and know your limits.
Track your spending
Staying on top of your spending is important for budgeting. Online Banking with BlueIQ ™️ has a budgeting tool to help you keep track of your spending habits and save more money. Plus, you can set up alerts to let you know when you are getting near your budget limits. This will allow you to track your spending at any time.
Revisit and adjust as needed
Check back on your budget as needed. The purpose of a budget is not to confine you, but to help you reach your goals. Build your budget around the lifestyle you want to live. Maybe you received a raise and can spend more per week, or maybe you want to start saving more of your income for a future purchase. Your goals may change often and that is okay – you can adjust your budget too.
Using these tips will help you manage your money while you are still in college to better prepare you for when you graduate. Do you want to learn more about how we can help you with your budget? Give us a call at (866) 952-9523 or visit your local branch.