How to budget in college


How to budget in college

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For students, making a budget is not something they have ever had to consider doing before. But college is when they must take their first step into adulthood and one of the biggest things about being an adult, is making a budget.

Here are five tips for students on how they can save money:

1 Make a spreadsheet – Write down your income on one column and your expenditure on another and see if they are balancing out.

John Lowe says, “They have to know how much is coming in and how much is going out. If you don’t have the money, don’t spend it! I would recommend using an app to track your finances. There are many apps you can use to track your spending where you can see the total amount you spend and where you spent it. This can help students realise what they’re spending.”

2 Student card – Many businesses give discounts to students if they have a valid student card. There are student deals in the cinema, in clothes shops and on the bus. Just remember to always use your card and save money.

3 Be careful with loans and credit cards – If you are finding it difficult to get by, a student loan can help you along the way. But don’t go overboard!

“If you take out a loan, you have to make sure you can afford to repay it and take that responsibility. There is a story of a young woman who graduated with a degree and went to Australia for 10 years. When she came back, she was turned down for any loan she applied for as she had left credit card debt behind in Ireland. This accumulated for 10 years while she was in Australia. She couldn’t get a car loan or a mortgage. If you take out loans or have anything on credit, make sure you can repay those debts as they can affect you later in life.”

4 Plan your meals – When you don’t have a lot of cash to spend on a weekly shop, you should plan out your meals in advance of shopping so you know exactly what you need to buy. Don’t be afraid of buying supermarket own-brand food, as they can be just as tasty but half the cost of a brand name.

5 Shop around – Cut back where you can and don’t splash out on things you don’t need. Also, your electricity, heating and Wi-Fi bills can really put a strain on your finances, but you might not have the best deal around. Try comparison websites and you might find that you’re paying double what you need to.

“Ask yourself two questions about your expenditure: Do I need it and is there a cheaper or better alternative? It’s all about getting better value. If you think you can’t live without your three lattes a day, maybe you will think twice when you know it can cost up to ¤2,000 a year!”

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For more advice on how to budget, visit the

Irish Independent

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