Managing your college finances is one way to make sure you don’t have too much student loan debt when you graduate. It’s hard to believe the way you save and spend money as a young person sets the stage for your future. If you don’t have good spending habits now, here are a few items to get you started.
Start a filing system so you know when your bills are due and how much you owe. It saves time, money and headaches if you keep everything in one place. In your file, keep copies of:
- Bank statements
- Credit card and utility bills
- Paycheck stubs
- Receipts for cash, debit card and credit card purchases
- Loan agreements and other financial documents
- Insurance documents
Set your budget
Where does your money come from? Do you have enough to cover all your college expenses? Make a table to track your income and expenses. You may receive money from a job, scholarship, student loan or savings account. List these under the income portion of your table.
Under the expenses portion of your table, list the costs of your expenses such as tuition, housing, books, groceries, clothing, entertainment and gas for a car. Also, be sure to include an estimated amount for unexpected expenses; unfortunately, things such as your car breaking down will happen.
Next subtract your expenses from your income to determine if you have enough money to get through the month or school semester.
If you don’t have enough income to cover your expenses, organize them by needs and wants. Cut back on wants to help you avoid overspending and stick to your budget.