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Guide: How to budget money as a college student

Let’s face it, most college students struggle with money, and it doesn’t help that prices are on a steady rise and students need to pay for college-related things.

The best thing that students can do is budget their money while in college. While it seems daunting and stressful, it can help in the long run by decreasing that stress.

A great option for budgeting: The 50/30/20 rule.

This rule allows you to budget to the best of your abilities and helps you not overspend by taking your monthly income and dividing it.

In order to do this, the first thing you need to know is your monthly income. Set aside 50% of that money for your monthly needs, such as bills, food and rent. After you do that, set aside 30% for your wants like entertainment or that purse you’ve been eyeing. The remaining 20% will go towards your savings, which is very important to have.

While this rule does seem solid, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, which means you have to be flexible.

If you notice that you have extra money left over after using this rule, then do whatever you want with it. Maybe you find that you have more than 50% in needs, so budget around that.

The best way to go about budgeting is always start with your needs, which sucks but is very important. If you don’t start with your needs, your budget will start to feel tight, and it could cause stress later when you suddenly have to scramble to find money. Plus, it helps you prioritize things by importance.

To keep yourself organized while budgeting, invest in a budgeting journal or use excel worksheet which can help calculate everything for you. Using a journal can help you stay organized, and you can personalize it any way you want to make budgeting more fun.

However, the best thing you can do with budgeting is having self-discipline and understanding what you need to prioritize. A lot of college students are fresh adults and still learning the ropes to the world and getting a taste of freedom for the first time.

While it might feel nice to have money for yourself, it’s good to start prioritizing and budgeting now so that it can help you in the long run. It may seem silly to think about it now, but early budgeting practices come in handy for future things like starting a family or buying a house. Plus, once you get into the groove of it, budgeting becomes less daunting and easier to do, taking the stress off future you.

Written by Kilie Huckleby, Copy Editor. Photo courtesy of Austin Bruce, Co-Sports Editor.

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