Creating and sticking to a budget

If you don’t already have a budget for your money, now would be an excellent time to create one.

A budget is like a spending plan that tells your money where to go. It is an efficient way to make sure that you do not spend money that you don’t have. It keeps your spending in check, ensuring that you don’t run out. Likewise, it can also address any bad spending habits.

First, calculate how much monthly income you have. An Excel spreadsheet comes in handy here. Then, add up all your expenses for the month. Hopefully, your income is higher than your expenditures. If so, great. It’s time to start saving! If not, you’ll need to make some adjustments.

You could increase your income to balance it out. If you don’t have a job, then you could get one. If you have one, perhaps you could work more hours. You could make deliveries or be a driver to supplement your income.

Maybe you could land a scholarship, as well. Look in Catalyst under the Scholarship Search Tile on the dashboard for opportunities.

Conversely, you could also cut your expenses to balance your budget. Are there any subscriptions that you don’t use? Cut them! Take advantage of student discounts — many establishments, especially in Clifton, offer them. Likewise, prepare your food at home instead of eating out. That would be a cost-effective way to sustain yourself.

You don’t have to live frugally forever. Once you graduate and get moving with your career, you can live more lavishly. But until then, eat ramen noodles every night, enjoy your time in college and pay attention to your spending. After all, you dedicate so much time to your studies — why not your finances, too?

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