The money tips you really need to know
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Money management in general, but especially for college students, can be extremely difficult. Most college students tend to spend their money on food, clothes, and recreational items––even when they know that money should be saved and put towards their future in some capacity.
While being a college student may give you a little excuse for being unsure with your money, it definitely doesn’t last past freshman year. There’s no reason anyone should remain uninformed about their finances, no matter how small they are. Here are some tips and apps that should help keep your wallet full(er):
1. The first measure that needs to be taken is to create a “Money Log”. Write down everything you spend your money on for four weeks. This process is made much easier when you save all your receipts. It may seem a little excessive, but this is the best way to understand where you’re spending you money. You’ll clearly be able to see what purchases are necessary and what purchases you can cut. After doing that, then you will be able to establish a budget. This way you have a limit of what you can spend.
2. Every student needs to think about saving money, so if you don’t have one already, open up a saving account. At some banks, you can set the account up so that you can’t access the money until you’re 21. Once you open a savings account, choose something to save for. It’s better to have a goal in mind; whether it’s something specific like a car or towards a future apartment, having a goal to look forward to is always best.
3. It’s also totally okay to be a penny pincher! Literally, save loose change. Change from purchases, from the couch, or even the change you find on the ground. You’d be surprised what it’ll eventually add up to.
4. Oh, and seriously, don’t go shopping when you’re hungry because you will buy everything that looks appetizing. I know I have! It’s okay to treat yourself once in awhile, but try buying generic brands. They’re pretty much identical to name brand products and are usually much cheaper.
5. Use the 24-hour rule. If you see a really awesome pair of shoes or a new pair of headphones you don’t actually need but want, wait at least 24 hours before buying them so you don’t become an impulse shopper. If you still really want them after 24 hours, go ahead. It’s your life.
6. Shop where there are student discounts. They can really help with your savings in the long run.
Now for the apps:
Epicurious app: Eating out can really add up. This app helps you plan recipes from what’s in your fridge. With thousands of recipes there’s something for everyone.
GasBuddy app: Like everybody already knows, gas costs a lot. This app allows you to plug in your location and get the most affordable gas prices in a fifty-mile radius.
Textbookme app: Less expensive text books? Yes please! This app compares textbook prices and it’ll help you find the cheapest one that’s closest to you.
Mobile Banking apps: Many banks offer a mobile banking app that lets you check your balance on the go. Most of them are actually free, but are still worth it, even if you have to pay a one-time fee.
Checkplease Lite app: Ever need to split a check when all your friends have debit cards? This app helps you split checks electronically! Pizza anyone?