Monday, April 6, 2009

Take Control of Your Expenses

When you’re a new student at college, it’s hard to understand and control your expenses. I wish I had some direction on how to save money at school.

In the article “27 Money Tips for College Students” the author J.D offers money saving ideas under different categories like Money Management, Organization and Planning, Campus Life, Personal Life, Decision Making, and Making Money.

These are few of tips that I found to be the most useful from the article:

1. Make smart choices. You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything you want. Decide what’s important to you, and pursue that. And remember to leave time for yourself.

2. Don’t hang out with big spenders. Some kids have parents with deep pockets. Other kids are well down the road to financial trouble. Hanging out with them can lead you to spend more than you can afford.

3. Take advantage of campus activities. There’s always something to do. Attend free movie festivals. Pay a few bucks to see the local symphony every month. Support the sports teams. Attend lecture series. Get the most from your student ID!

4. Limit vices. Beer, cigarettes, and pot are expensive. They also screw with your body and mind. Take it easy on the vices. There’s nothing wrong with a drink or two on Friday night, but don’t go overboard.

5. Track your spending. Use a notebook, or use Quicken if you have it. Good records will prevent you from getting overdrawn at the bank or charging more than your credit limit. This habit also allows you to detect spending patterns.

6. Make a budget. It doesn’t have to be fancy. At the start of the month, estimate how much money you’ll receive and decide where needs to go. Remember: you don’t need to spend it all.

7. Save your receipts. Put them in a shoebox under your bed if you must, but hold onto them. You’ll need to be able to compare them with statements at the end of the month. And some you’ll need to keep for several years.

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