Life can be tough on a student. It isn’t easy to make ends meet when you don’t have a job or are scraping by on minimum wage. Unfortunately, you still have to buy food and other essentials to survive. What are the five most important things to consider when creating a budget as a student?
1) Keep a Journal of All Transactions
The best way to keep track of your finances is to keep a journal of your financial transactions. Each time cash comes in or goes out, it should be recorded. A wool covered journal from Rusticoleather.com can be a helpful resource for all students looking to keep track of their finances.
2) Keep Track Of Your Bank Statements
Most banks allow you to keep track of your balances online. This is a good idea if you want to get a general overview of how much money you have in your checking or savings account. If you have credit cards or an IRA, you may be able to track those balances online as well.
3) Your Phone Can Help You Budget
Smartphone apps can help you keep track of your account balances as well as help you track your purchases. You may be able to download the information from your transaction journal to your phone to keep that information with you wherever you go.
4) Talk to a Financial Adviser If Possible
It never hurts to talk to a financial professional who knows what you are going through financially at this stage of your life. A financial planner can help you create a budget, create a plan for buying your first home after you graduate as well as how you can save a little bit of your money each week.
5) Look Over Your Budget At Least Once a Month
Take a look at your budget at least once a month. This ensures that you are staying within your means on a consistent basis. If you are spending too much on food, gas or entertainment, you will see it sooner if you review your finances on a regular basis.
College students don’t have it easy when it comes to their finances. However, there are many great tools out there to help you stay on top of your money. Keep a journal, check your bank balances regularly and get professional advice if you want to get through school with as little debt as possible.