If you’ve made it this far without laughing at the fact that students even have money to budget then I must say I’m impressed. Post secondary is a money sucking adventure, and I’m sure your part-time job just barley covers the bus ride home at the end of the day. We also can’t forget about stealing those ketchup, salt, and pepper packets from your nearest fast food joint in order to save those toonies and loonies we have packed proudly away in our empty wallets.
Sound accurate yet?
If so, then maybe it’s time to stop using those declined credit cards and start bringing out the calculator (unless your pretty amazing at math – which I am not).
If you can’t remember what you’ve managed to spend all your money on either, then maybe you should also bring out that notebook you barley used in class and put some actual good, fulfilling use to it (and I already know you don’t have a pen… Who really comes prepared anymore?)!
In my experience with attempting to budget my money I have 3 fun categories in which I find myself budgeting in for each month:
Necessities is the awful non-negotiable stuff that needs to be paid. This entails car payments, rent, minimum payments on your credit card, insurance, gym memberships etc. You name it! This first step really helps me see what I absolutely need to stay in the safe zone for the rest of the month.
Amenities are things I need in order to live! I would place food, toilet paper, laundry money (if you go to a laundry mat), shampoo, conditioner, and all things you need to live in a daily routine to be apart of your amenities! These are the second most important or else you may find yourself at McDonald’s sneaking the rest of the toilet paper in your backpack (a memory I do not want to re-live).
Activities are all the miscellaneous fun you may want to have. This could be setting a set amount of ‘free’ money that you are left over with to go to the movies, dinner, a club, take a road trip, or maybe buying a new gaming system. Although going to the bar every night might seem like a great idea, realistically, it could be the difference in getting evicted and having to live in a box. Sounds fun right? Not so much.
Even though I’m not a professional accountant or even in financial related course or job, this is still a great starting point in figuring out how your money should be pent. By gaining these budgeting skills it’ll get you that extra needed bus ride home or even getting your bank account out of those negative numbers.
Being a student is never an easy time when it comes to money. We will strive to do just about anything when it means saving 20 bucks on laundry detergent. Instead of thinking that you need to work longer hours to have enough money, just think about where your money is being spent, and I’m sure you’ll find a few places that you can eliminate or cut down. This will save your time, and help you get that last minute 10 page essay done the night before and it will ultimately save your money when you spending it in all the right places!
Although saving money is always a beneficial choice, it’s never an easy one. Budgeting isn’t just a one-time task; it’s an ongoing calculation. It takes 21 days to make or break a habit, right?
Lets make this one count!
Is there another way to budget? Is there a better way? Is there a smarter way? Is there a student-friendly way?