If you are a college student, or you are looking to get into college soon, one important aspect of your life in college will be how you spend and manage your money. Finance is a big issue for college students because there are so many expenses to account for, whether it is tuition, levy fees, books, extracurricular activities, social engagements, or other financial demands that college students face. The fact is that the way you spend your money will determine how well you do financially now and in the future. As they say, “good habits start one step at a time,” so the earlier you can start putting your money in order, the better for you.
Here are 3 Budget Strategies for College Students:
THE ENVELOPE METHOD: This is one of the best ways to curb impulse buying. Traditionally, this method involves labeling envelopes using categories such as transportation, feeding, rent, savings, travel, grooming, and other necessities. Once this is done, money is then put on each label. Essentially, you don’t get to spend your money on anything that it is not budgeted for. This method may be really useful to college students as it helps you plan your budget and live within your means. When using the envelope method, students understand that the money assigned to one category will be used specifically for that category, and when it finishes, that’s the end. You do not dip into another envelope. This way, students can curb their spending and plan their budget ahead. Though other modern methods using certain apps like Budget and Mvelopes have been introduced, the traditional method is highly recommended to help students control their spending and manage their spending effectively.
THE ZERO-SUM BUDGET METHOD: Similar to the envelope method, the zero-sum budget method requires that you allocate every dollar you spend to an expense, a need, or a want. For example, write out how much your rent will cost and divide it by 12 then each month, set money aside for this. This does not require an envelope, but you can use a spreadsheet or notepad to write down your expense plan each month based on your budget. In this method, if money finishes in one category, you can reallocate funds from another category to make up for this. However, be sure to replace it at the end of the month.
THE TRACKING METHOD: The tracking method helps you keep track of your monthly expenses. When you spend money using the tracking method, you take note of how much you spent and what you spent it on. Using a tracking tool like an excel spreadsheet or a notepad can help you track, monitor, and evaluate your expenses. At the end of the month, and over time, you can look back at how much you spent and if you notice a certain trend in eating out, entertainment, or other recreational activities, you can choose to offset or reduce the amount you spend on these and allocate money instead to more important things.
Keeping track of your expenses helps you to manage your money properly, and hold yourself accountable if you notice a poor trend or negative habit in your spending or money management.
At Maple Canadian College, we teach our students the importance of budgeting, helping them develop money management skills, and also help train them to be discerning in how they spend their money. We curtail excessive spending here at MCC and do our best to inculcate good money habits and other necessary life development skills.
For information on how you can enroll your child with us, send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 09062540705