Now that you’re in college you’re going to need to make adult decisions with your time, your relationships, and above all, your money. That means learning how to create a budget that you can actually stick to while you’re in college. Many college kids look on the dreaded “B” word as something that requires sacrifice and denying yourself the things you want to buy, but nothing could be further from the truth. A smart budget is in place to help ensure you have enough money to go places, do things, and have all of your bills are paid. In fact, an effective budget can help you stay on track financially and prepare you for the real world ahead. So here are some tips to creating a budget that you can actually stick to while attending Princeton University or any other college for that matter.
Assess Your Finances
Doing college on a budget shouldn’t be a challenge. But you will need to do some simple math first. Start by making an assessment of all your monthly bills and financial obligations. Rent, car payments, anything that must be paid on time every month. Once you know what your monthly bills look like, then compare that number to the amount of money you have coming in each month.
Lower Your Bills
After taking an inventory of your monthly bills and comparing that amount to your monthly income, you may find that there isn’t a lot left over to go shopping or do the fun things you want. That could mean it’s time to examine your bills and identify areas where you can tighten your belt. Maybe lowering the package on your cable subscription (or cutting the cord altogether), reducing your cell phone bill with a cheaper rate, or buying food in bulk, however you choose to do it there are bound to be some areas where you can lower your costs.
Don’t Miss a Payment
Some bills are as low as they can be, yet still on the high side. One thing you don’t want to deal with is late payments and the fees that come with them. If you pay certain bills after they are due, your creditors might impose additional fees to next month’s bill which can affect your budget and end up costing you more in the bargain. You’re also putting your credit score at risk with each late payment that gets processed. Some companies let you set up automatic payments either through an IG link, the website, or other online methods. This can help you pay those bills on time without having to worry about needlessly overspending. It will also keep you on budget.