Budgeting... The Extra Mile

Posted by John Nutter on Nov 16, 2017 6:02:18 PM

College students; renowned for their low incomes. Always looking for ways to save an extra buck while still managing to get by. There are simple steps students should take to actively save money and spend less. Along with these steps to budgeting, there are a plethora of resources to assist you in the money saving/budgeting process. If you stay faithful to the steps and resources, you will be satisfied with the results.

The first step for budgeting with a low income is to create a spending plan at the start of each semester. In your spending plan, you should analyze and estimate how much money you will be spending each week. It is important that you are honest and realistic when formulating your plan. Also, it is essential that you take all types of expenses into account. Once you determine your spending plan, compare it to your income to make sure it is achievable. If it is not, adjust your plan so you are inline with your income. To help you create your plan, there are various templates and guides easily accessible on the internet. In addition, applications such as Mint and GoogleBudget are user-friendly and will tailor to your specific situation.

Next, you must keep track of how much you are spending. This step will allow you to see if your spending plan is accurate. You must stay faithful to tracking all of your expense. Some suggestions for doing this are spreadsheets, journals, various applications, etc. Tracking spending will allow you to see what areas you can reduce spending. For example, If you are spending too much on groceries, maybe switch the brands you are buying. Knowing how much you spend is the key to budgeting successfully.

Then, OPEN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT. Many student workers and low income employees fail to open a savings account. Whether you are saving $10 a week or $200 a week, you should always be putting portions of income into a savings account. After opening a savings account, analyze your spending plan, spending journal, and income to determine a realistic percentage of each paycheck to go into your savings account. If you have trouble in determining how much, talk to your banker. They will provide relevant information to you. Opening a savings account is obviously helpful in saving money but also is great security if you are ever jobless. You will be thankful that money is there when you truly need it.

The final step is to look for ways to reduce spending. This sounds much easier than it actually is. You must actively and consciously approach this step. To find outlets to reduce spending, start by looking at your spending journal and determine your needs from wants. Analyze all of your wants and begin to pick apart the expense you truly did not need. There are many other ways to reduce spending such as using coupons, carpooling, cooking simple recipes, etc. Everyone has their own preference but to be successful in cutting spending, you must stay faithful.

If you can stay on top of each of these steps, it will become a habit. Everyone will take a different approach to budgeting but by following this outline, you will have a guide to get you where you need to be on a budgeting standpoint. Take time and do research on different resources for budgeting. There is a lot of good help out there but you must put the time into finding it! Have a great semester and save some money.

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