10 Budgeting Tips for Students


Temptations abound in college, which can make it difficult to stick to a budget. However, you’ll thank yourself later if you do, as you’ll consistently make your money last to the end of the month and may even be able to start paying off your student loans. Plus, learning how to budget now will set you up for financial success in the future.

Here are some simple yet effective ways to keep your spending in check.

1. Use a Budgeting App

Budgeting used to be complicated. It required making spreadsheets and updating them regularly to reflect your purchases. Now, though, there are countless apps to choose from that will make your life easier. They show you where your money is going to help you to improve your spending habits.

2. Make Full Credit Card Payments

Credit card debt has some of the highest interest rates. If you already have some debt, pay as much as you possibly can each month until it’s gone. Then, make sure you only spend within your means going forward to avoid accumulating any debt again.

3. Apply for a Cash-Back Credit Card

If you’re being responsible with your credit card — meaning you have no debt and you’re spending within your means — it’s worth applying for a card that offers cash back. This means that every time you spend, you’ll earn money or other rewards.

4. Buy with Student Discounts

Many businesses offer student discounts, including subscription services when you sign up with a student email. It’s worth choosing brands that offer such deals, as you can end up saving a significant amount.

5. Search for Coupons

Another way to take advantage of deals is to use coupons. After all, it doesn’t make sense to pay full price when a discount is available. Always do an internet search to look for discount codes before you place an order for anything expensive.

6. Cook Your Own Meals

It’s almost always cheaper to cook than to eat out — plus, it helps you stick to a healthier diet. There’s no need for cooking to be time consuming or difficult. If you’re not used to preparing food, start with simple recipes to learn the basics and consider making enough for a couple meals at a time.

7. Write a Shopping List

If you head to the grocery store without a list, there’s always a risk you’ll waste your money on food you never end up eating. Consider what you’ll eat over the upcoming week and make sure you have the ingredients for just these meals and for some healthy snacks.

8. Find Free Ways to Have Fun

Maintaining an active social life on a budget can seem like a challenge, but it’s more than possible when you attend free events. You should be able to find events on campus virtually every week — they’re also a great way to expand your social circle.

9. Quit Smoking

Smoking is an expensive habit. Even if you find it difficult to quit now, it will be much more difficult if you wait until you’re older. Plus, every week you continue smoking is more money wasted. To incentivize yourself, you could designate all the money that would go to cigarettes or vaping to your fun budget.
10. Spend in Cash

Withdraw the amount you assign in your budget to non-essentials and make sure you only spend that cash. Reserve credit cards for just necessary expenses.

A final way to save money is to find affordable student housing. For off-campus Ontario Tech University residence, you have Foundry Simcoe. The suites are modern and fully furnished, meaning there’s no need to worry about extra expenses like furniture. Apply now while there are still a few spaces left and you can move in immediately.

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