As a university student stepping into the real world, money management is a responsibility you’re going have for the rest of your life. Honestly, adulting is tough especially when it becomes increasingly tempting to eat out or go to a show even when you just paid for your textbooks! We’ve been there, we got you, and we’ve got a few tips that can help you save money for your future:
1. Get Rid of your debt
It may sound like a no-brainer, but its a step you need to take. Obviously, you are always going to have new charges but before you make any NEW payments, lift a little bit of that burden off your shoulders. Using those credit cards definitely adds up but before you totally max it out, stop and think to yourself, at what point am I going to pay this card off? Keep track of all your bank and purchase statements and if you can’t pay all of it at once, make sure you pay the minimum if you can. Maxing out on your credit cards will mess with your credit score!
2. Map out your budget
Now that you know where your payments are going, its time to keep a good eye on your money. Track your monthly payments as well as your income or allowances and through this you’ll be able to see different ways to manage your money. A rule of thumb to live by is the 50/20/30 rule, where 50% of your budget is spent on the essentials such as your parking permit, class books, or your tuition. 20% would be for your savings and 30% for your personal use such as enjoying the luxuries of going to a concert, on a food adventure or going to a museum! Try out Google Docs and their budget templates to help you out in your finance management!
3. Find Alternatives!
A. We know professors assign lots of books for you to use for class, but did you know you can check out some of those assigned books in our very own John M. Pfau library?
B. Make sure you return your textbooks you’ve bought if you don’t need them. Sell your old books to Chegg, Amazon and the Coyote Bookstore!
C. Pack your lunches so that in the long-run you’re not spending a lot of money going out to eat and finding on-campus food. A full meal can cost about $7-$10, which definitely adds up on a weekly basis!
D. Take the bus to save money on gas-CSUSB students can ride for free!
E. Start comparing prices and make mental notes so you know the prices of one item in one store versus another.
4. Resist Impulse Buys
If you don’t need it, don’t buy it! You’ll thank yourself for it in the future! Why? Because the purchases you make today on an impulse can affect the way you save and spend later. You may need to buy a parking permit but do not have the financial stability because you decided to see a show last month. Prioritize what you need to save your money on: school, living expenses or transportation-these are payments you know will not only be consistent but necessary in your university career. Bottom line, make sure you establish your needs versus your wants.
Once you’ve mapped your finances out and aligned it with your budget, go ahead and treat yourself Yoties!