5 Tips for Budgeting Your Money While in College

The semester is coming to an end, and I am sure we are all looking forward to the break. But for some of us, the process is going to repeat. You will need different textbooks next semester. If you live on campus, you know (or have learned this year) that you need money for food constantly. You may need more school supplies, or maybe you plan on investing in a new computer. Either way, these things involve budgeting. How did you make out this year? Did you save any money? Here are a few tips that should help you budget your money while in school, and hopefully you find them useful outside of college as well.

Separate your Wants from your Needs- Before even sitting down to create a budget, you should set aside the things you know are absolute necessities. You will always need money for transportation, laundry, food, textbooks, etc. Versus going out with friends, or going shopping. Which is more important? Be mindful of the things that you buy.

Live Within Your Means- It is easy to see someone with all of the new tech gadgets, or wearing the latest trends walking around, making you feel obligated to buy these things as well. In reality, you two may have completely different budgets. When creating your budget, sit down weekly and total the costs of the things that you need. Do they exceed your allowance/paycheck? If so, you may need to go back and revisit some of the things on your list. You cannot pinpoint every single college living expense, but do your best. How often do you run out of toiletries? Can you afford to eat out every day?

Don’t Make Impulse Purchases- Do not buy things simply because you can. Think to yourself first about other things you may need, bills that are coming up, or better yet, just save the money. If it is something you have been doing without thus far, chances are you can go a little bit longer without it.

Take Advantage of Campus Activities- Now, every once in a while I understand going out to a movie, or to dinner with friends. But some of these things our campus offers as well. Use these activities as a way to save money. Attend the movie nights, sports games, and other social events. This way you can still get out and enjoy yourself with friends, only this time for free.

Use your Student Discount! – School costs a lot of money, but it also saves you money as well. Keep your ID with you when out shopping, and ask different stores if they give discounts to students. For example, the North Face store gives a 10% discount on backpacks, jackets, etc. Use your student discount!! Lots of places give discounts to students, you just have to ask.

6 Tips for Balancing Work and School

By: Chanel Deloatch

Trying to balance working (part or full time) and going to college may seem impossible. With the right mindset, support, and motivation, anything is possible. Here are a few tips that I find help me the most, and hopefully you’ll find a few to be useful to you as well.

1. Support System– Your support system is there to build you back up when life knocks you down. It could be fellow classmates, coworkers, family, or your boyfriend/girlfriend. They’ll always be in your corner, keeping you motivated and your mindset positive.

2. Ask yourself- Before sitting down with your employer, you should know for sure what needs to be done to keep you financially stable, yet also make you most successful. Will it be more important to work more hours to pay for school? Or will you be able to work weekends and focus more on your education? Which classes are more challenging, or require more attention? Plan ahead for these things, so that you are more mentally prepared and have less anxiety.

3. Sit down with Your Employer- Express to your boss that you are in college, and let him/her know what is more important. Most jobs are willing to work around the schedules of college students. Make sure your manager is aware of everything, and give them a physical copy of your schedule. Request time off accordingly, and for as far ahead as you can. If the semester is just starting, work off the dates on your syllabus. This will reduce the chance of conflict in your schedule, and neither you nor your boss will have to worry about last minute requests.

4. Stay Organized! – I cannot stress this tip enough! Being organized makes life in general easier. Once you’ve sat down with your employer, you should pretty much have all your important dates. Invest in a planner or dry erase calendar. (You could even use your smartphone!) By keeping all your activities, your work and school schedule and appointments filled in, you will never miss a beat. This will also help you easily identify the free time you have in between. You will definitely need the rest!

5. Study Frequently & Stay on Top of Assignments- The biggest mistake you can make in college is procrastinating. Preparation is key. Start studying ASAP- this way you never fall behind and you know the material like the back of your hand. Don’t let work become an excuse! Bring your school to work, if possible. Look over your notes on your break, or study flashcards while you’re on the bus. Every bit of effort you put in will show!

6. Be Thankful! – There are only 24 hours in a day, so don’t get down on yourself if you don’t get everything done. But be grateful! Getting an education and having a job is an opportunity that many people do not have. Keep your long term goals in mind when you feel like giving up. Stay motivated by celebrating ALL achievements, even if you only brought your D up to a C. Be proud of yourself, EVERY improvement is important.
These are my tips on how to deal with working and going to school. Thank you for reading, I hope you find some (or all) of these helpful!