How to Survive College on a Shoestring Budget

How to Survive College on a Shoestring Budget

The cost of a college education has been rising for the past decade, with most students finding that they cannot afford this important step in their academic journeys. While student loans and grants can help mitigate some costs, students still need financial discipline and proper money management. If you always find yourself broke and struggling to afford necessities in the middle of the term, this article is for you. Here, we discuss useful tips on how to survive college life when working with a limited budget.

Always Follow a Budget

The most important tip you can get for surviving college is to create and follow a budget. If you always run out of cash before the semester ends, you need to evaluate where your money goes, which is where having a budget proves crucial. Unfortunately, most assume they only need to budget for their recurring expenditures. However, those impromptu bills can add up fast and hurt your finances in the long run.

At the beginning of the month, create a comprehensive budget that considers every element of your expenditure. The budgeting process should start with carefully considering the funds at your disposal. How much money do you have, and how much are you expecting? Once you know your incomings, you should consider your outgoings. Next, balance your expenses, placing needs ahead of wants. The most urgent expenses should be at the top of your priority list. Make sure to include savings as an expense in your budget.

Be Careful With Credit Cards

Credit cards play an essential role in helping students afford college costs. But, despite their usefulness, credit cards are potentially dangerous, particularly for students who are new to their use. Some, fascinated by the allure of what appears to be free money, overspend using credit cards and deal with serious implications. But, of course, even experienced users face hurdles regarding credit card use.

As a college student considering getting a credit card, make sure you understand the pitfalls of their use. Of course, there are ways you can use credit cards responsibly to avoid the many associated risks. For instance, you should always avoid the temptation to overspend by setting personal spending limits. Also, paying off credit card balances in full allows you to avoid having to pay costly interest on purchases. Find other means to pay for reliable assignment writing services from websites like

Don’t Ignore Student Discounts

Learners often ignore student discounts, which could be a great way to save when buying items. Today, numerous brands have started offering students discounts. While they intend to inspire loyalty and increase purchases, college students can benefit from these offers immensely. Understand that you won’t always be able to rely on these college discounts after graduation. Use them now and benefit from savings as you buy essential items. Look up available options, ensuring that your decisions are smart and necessary. Still, you should never purchase things you don’t need just because an attractive discount is offered.

Automate Your Savings

The sooner you start developing a savings culture as a college student, the more successful your financial habits will be. Saving should be your priority, not just something you do when you have a few dollars left from your expenses. This requires creativity, including indicating the amount of money you wish to save every month when creating a budget. Even better, you can automate your savings to make things easier. Remember, most banks provide website links to help you set up automated payments.

Find Free or Cheap Ways to Have Fun

College life can be stressful, with overwhelming assignments and tons of commitments. For the sake of your mental and physical health, it is important to take regular breaks to unwind and create memories. You don’t want your college life to be about books, assignments, and tests. You can schedule breaks and find ways to enjoy yourself without hurting your pockets. Of course, there will be the temptation to go out to eat and socialize in places that require spending money. However, smart students know you don’t have to spend exorbitant rates to enjoy yourself. Simple things like watching movies with friends or listening to music can be fun without hurting your finances.

Affording college requires financial discipline, creativity, and planning. Create and follow a budget and avoid going wild on your credit card expenses. Student discounts can help you save considerably but only spend on what you need. Most importantly, understand that having fun in college does not have to cost an arm and a leg.

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