Importance of Setting a Budget for College

Published: 21st October 2008
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When first setting off for college, it is important to sit down with your parents and determine a budget. This not only includes loans, but also for books, food, entertainment, and miscellaneous expenses. Many college kids are given a credit card to use "only for emergencies", but you will quickly learn that it is used far more often then that. When determining how much you are allotted to spend per month it is imperative to allocate those resources efficiently and responsibly. For example if your parents are giving you $300 per month for living expenses, the necessities must come first. Most likely if you are a first or second year in college you will be living in the dorms and being supplied with a meal plan. This enables you to plan for what the rest of your expenses will be stemming from. Now that your budget has been determined you must set realistic goals to what you will be spending your money on. By allotting a specific amount of money for entertainment for example, will provide you with boundaries so that you do not over spend. Budgeting can seem overwhelming at first, but there are great online resources you can visit to aid you in the process. Online software is available to help you efficiently manage your budget enabling you to stay on the straight and narrow when it comes to spending.

College students have the reputation of spending all of their money on pizza and beer forgoing buying books. However, if you start to Budget early you will be able to have your books and eat your pizza too. A useful tool to use to budget for college is online banking and other financial management tools. There are even useful websites that track all of your spending from your different bank accounts, credit cards, and loan payments that you can use to amplify your budgeting. Saving is also a must for college students because most of the time college students have limited income, usually stemming from their parents. Saving is a part of life and it will pay in the long run if you start in college. I know this might be difficult but it is definitely worth it, for you can find savings everywhere you look. This might include searching for better interest rates on your credit cards and student loans.

Setting a budget for college should be weighed with high importance because it sets the stage for the rest of your financial life. Using tools that allow you to manage your accounts online give you a competitive advantage over the rest of your fellow classmates. For when you graduate 4 years from now you will have the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to make it in the real world of financial planning. Budgets are a part of life and it is time for you college student to jump on the bandwagon and start your journey to becoming oiled budgeting machine.

Jeff Nelson gives advice on money management. His advice helps you to eliminate your debt faster. To make online budgeting easy and set up your Budget for each category you are targeting, visit www.mint.com

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