5 Tips For Sticking to a Student Budget

Woman saving money

One of the biggest causes of stress for American students is money. Some have to maintain a part-time job to get by, while others have to make sacrifices just to buy textbooks. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you make a student budget, there are many ways you can easily stick to it without giving up some of the things you love.

We could all use a little bit of accounting help every once in awhile, if only to make sure we’re on the right track. It doesn’t hurt to brush up on some money smarts so that you can maximize your income and spend it on the right things. Here are some tips to help you keep to your budget and optimize your saving.

1. Stop Using ATMs

Every time you take money out of an ATM, you have to pay your bank’s ATM fees. That can add up. If you take out money every time you go out, you can rack up anywhere from $20 to $90 a month, just in extra fees you could have avoided. If you have to use an ATM, make the trip to your bank to use one at no extra charge, or take out a lot of money at once so the fee is worth it.

2. Try a Budgeting App

Try downloading an app that tracks your budget as you spend, so you can always check how you’re doing on the fly. This way, you can see in real time how you’re doing and if you can afford those shoes you’re eyeing through that store window. If you need accounting help or math help, an app can be the easy way to solve your issues.

3. Write Down Everything You Spend

Sometimes what we need is a visual representation of our spendings. When you can see how much you’re spending and it’s right in front of you, it can be eye opening. Realizing how much you spend on certain things can help you reconsider whether you really need those items or not.

4. Price Match Anywhere and Everywhere You Can

If you need to buy groceries, always shop at stores that price match and be prepared by bringing flyers with you. Just taking a glance through the weekly circulars can save you a ton of money you would otherwise be spending without a second thought.

5. Try Buying Second Hand

If something in your dorm or your apartment breaks and you need to go get a new one, sometimes you don’t need to pay full price for a brand new item when you can find it at a thrift store for cheap. You’ll kick yourself when you realize how much you spend on items that you can find second hand.

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References:
Steber, Carolyn. “12 Ways to Stick to Your Budget & Save Money.” Bustle. 7 April 2016. Accessed 10 Feb. 2017. https://www.bustle.com/articles/152926-12-ways-to-stick-to-your-budget-save-money.

Vaz-Oxlade, Gial. “Save on ATM Fees.” MoneySense. 27 Oct. 2011. Accessed 8 Feb. 2017. http://www.moneysense.ca/save/save-on-atm-fees/.

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