Ballin’ on a budget

How college students an save money

Everyone understands the typical college student stereotype:  one-dollar ramen in a crusty dorm room, a car with all of the warning lights on, and an abnormal hankering for hooligan habits; Also known as a broke college student. There are ways around these predicaments and while I cannot promise to make you rich with these three simple budget tips, they can certainly help you curb your money expenditure. 

The first and most crucial tip I can give you is: get a grip. In order to save yourself from digging a financial grave at 18, you need to have a firm understanding of your needs and wants. Ladies, do you really need that new acrylic nail set? Probably not. Gentlemen, do you really need that 6-inch lift kit on your 2006 F-150? Definitely not (we know that check engine light has been on a little too long). Please do not put off buying things such as toothpaste so that you can afford things that will help you “fit in.” 

The second tip: cut costs where you can. This is a little trickier and involves some strategy. Let me give you an example, let’s pretend your friend group has a weekly Saturday night out. That $10 Whataburger meal and $20-$40 door charge for the concert at the Twisted J adds up real quick. Here are a few quick tips to help you avoid the money pit and stay in the mosh pit. 

1) Eat beforehand. The truth is you do not need to order a meal to enjoy dinner with your friends, eat beforehand at home and save yourself the dough.

 2) Buy tickets beforehand. Lots of concerts offer early-bird ticket pricing a couple days in advance. Buy your ticket early and possibly save a few dollars. 

The third and final tip: plan, plan, plan. If you want to stay ballin, stay on a budget. You do not have to make an extensive excel sheet of all of your daily expenses, but you should have a plan of where your money goes. 

One of the most basic money saving strategies I’ve tried is to make envelopes and give them labels for the things you want to spend money on (i.e. concerts, clothes, rainy day, car, rent). Set aside cash in these envelopes from each paycheck, lock them up, and only use them when you absolutely need them. Another great strategy to save money is to give yourself goals for your money. For example,  “I want to have X amount of money saved in six months,” and then reward yourself when you accomplish that goal. 

While these tips are very basic, when you are a college student, every penny counts. Budgeting money takes practice and it pays for itself in the end. Financial hardships as a college student are very real and very scary, but these are ways you can save yourself some trouble by not breaking the bank. You do not have to miss out on those Saturday nights out with your friends, plan for them, and you too can be ballin’ on a budget.