One of the hardest parts about being a college student is learning how to manage money. When asked, most college students will say that they are poor and cannot afford what they need and want. However, there are many simple ways to stay on a budget and prevent the awful call home asking for more money.
The most important factor in staying on budget is to sit down at the beginning of each month and plan where the money will go. Some things that should be budgeted include; food, gas for the car, bills, dates, functions and eating out; the rest should be put aside in case of an emergency.
Shopping is one of the most basic chores – a chore most people are never taught how to do properly. Before going shopping, plan out a menu and know exactly what you need. Impulse shopping is one of the biggest mistakes a shopper can make.
Grocery stores, such as Wal-Mart, have a system for their prices. Once discovered, it can save a student money and make shopping more enjoyable and easier. On the price sticker, there is an orange square which is located on the top left side of the sticker that lists the price per pound of the item. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy in bulk, but sometimes it isn’t. For the movie fanatics out there, stop paying for movies from Redbox and Hastings. Just get Netflix. It’s true that sometimes Netflix doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for. However, for the majority of cases, watching something on Netflix can save time and money. It is especially great for when you want to watch an entire season of a show in two days.
When it comes to dates, they can add up quickly. A picnic is always a good choice; they are fun, semi-free and romantic. Pack a meal – it can be extravagant or simple – and find a secluded place to eat and watch a movie on a laptop.
If something a little nicer is needed, sign up for Chili’s email club. They send members free appetizer or dessert coupons periodically; then, split an entree. Follow this by going to the Rialto on Race Street. A date like this would be about $15 for two people.
When considering which option is best financially, just remember to think and plan ahead. Always be aware of other options and make an informed decision.