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HOW TO SURVIVE ON A BUDGET: COLLEGE LIFE EDITION

The exhilaration of attending college was unlike anything else for the students at the time. For some, it means finishing high school, for others, it means more independence, and for still others, it means moving to a new place and meeting new people.

Saving money at college may seem impossible, but it is very achievable!

For most college students, this is their first experience with budgeting and managing money on their own. You may not be aware of all the methods for making your money last. That is the purpose of this list.

  1. Create a Reasonable Budget 

Before getting down to the planning, you must first establish a budget for yourself. Make a rough estimate of how much you are going to spend on average each month based on your previous month’s costs and try to stick to it. Try keeping to a budget for 30 days. It might get hard at first, but trust me, with time, you’ll learn how to manage your money.

  1. Define your Expenses 

It’s time to break down your overall budget now that you’ve established it. Make a list of the fixed expenses you must incur each month, regardless of the financial situation. Rent, electricity, wifi, food, and other necessities should be budgeted for. Aside from that, some money should be set aside for weekends or outings. While savings may appear to be a faraway dream, they can go a long way.

Consider saving Rs. 500 every month and treating yourself with a new garment every quarter!

  1. Earn Some Extra Cash 

Having a Sidekick while in college sounds stressful, but it’s a lot of fun! You can get a freelance or internship in your field of interest or degree, giving you not just early access to the industry but also some extra money!

And when you can earn enough money to cover all of your extravagant expenses, college life becomes a lot easier!

P.S. I don’t think I need to tell you how proud your parents would be if you started taking life seriously in college xD.

  1. Practise Self Control 

You ABSOLUTELY DO NOT need that dress! And I cannot emphasise enough the importance of exercising self-control while living on a budget. Getting a new lip colour at home would not have been a big deal, but IT IS NOW! Do you know you can get food for a week, for the price of one dress? Think wisely and spend carefully.

  1. Get a Roommate

Getting a Roommate is all fun and games until money gets involved. Before moving in with somebody, you should consider your options! The person you are moving in with should not only be on the same pay level as you, but your expenditure style should also align.  All of your expenses are divided evenly with your roommates, from rent to energy to wifi, providing you with ample money to travel and invest!

Even your food expenses are cut down when you start cooking or ordering in together!

  1. Never Overdraft

I understand that some months are difficult on your finances, but taking out friendly loans or borrowing money from your siblings is NOT a good option. All this borrowed money has to go back some day and when it goes, it’s going to leave you empty for that month.Never count on future earnings or pocket money; instead, cut back on a few expenses when you anticipate a large expenditure and spend carefully!

  1. Utilise Bulk Discounts

You save money when you buy in bulk! From stationery to home supplies such as a dishwasher or snacks for the month. It saves money to buy in bulk and split the costs with your roommates. When I was living with a friend, we used to go out and acquire snacks for the month and split the money in half. This would not only save us money, but it would also provide us with more options for our midnight cravings!

  1. Say No to Credit Cards

All these Credit Card apps for students might lure you into the trap, but DO NOT fall for it. Getting a good credit score in college might sound fun, but the drawbacks are not to be underestimated. Get a credit card if and only if you can curb your cravings and spend wisely, else forget a concept like this even exists! 

College is one of the most exciting times in one’s life. You look forward to high school life; when you are experiencing it, you are on cloud nine, and after you graduate, all you want to do is live it again. While in college, you learn a lot of things, not just academics, but also numerous life lessons. One example is money management.

These were some of the greatest methods for managing your money and saving money in college. If you shower this one with love, I’ll be happy to come up with more such corporate hacks! These are all based on personal experience.  If you have more ideas or suggestions, want to share your hack, or want to tell us how silly these ideas are, leave a comment below!

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Raghvi Arora

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