College students have to walk a right rope with money while they’re in school. With little income, any mistake can kick off a ferocious debt cycle that can be difficult to get out of.
Freedom Debt Relief says the key to staying inline with your finances while in school is an ironclad budget. It takes lots of discipline to follow a budget. Freedom Debt Relief has a few tips to help students through this difficult learning period.
How To Create A Budget
A student budget should only consist of the necessities that contribute toward completing school. This means the basics, including:
Notice partying isn’t in the budget. Purchasing the latest designer clothes isn’t there as well. Neither have anything to do with helping you get your degree.
Depending on your income, unnecessary expenses will quickly squash your budget and put your finances into a tailspin.
To create your budget, list the different expense categories. Put a monthly amount on each. Budgets for college students are very simple because their finances are very simple. Or should be. The goal is not to spend more than the monthly amount you’ve listed for the budget. If you do spend more, you need question why money is going to unnecessary expenses.
If the expense is unexpected, that’s different than unnecessary. We talk about how to handle unexpected expenses further below.
A Part-Time Job Is Necessary
Even if you are taking full-time credits, Freedom Debt Relief says working a part-time job is a necessity. If you are one of the lucky few and your parents are contributing to your monthly income, that won’t be enough. You’ll need a part-time job as well. Otherwise, the debt will begin piling up, and you’ll leave school with a mountain of it.
There should be many part-time job opportunities right next to your school. Companies within the vicinity of the school will usually hire students and actually have them integrated into the business plan as a source of employees.
If no part-time work can be found nearby, sign up for a work-study. In fact, a work-study should be your first choice.
Freedom Debt Relief mentions that work studies offer great flexibility in your scheduling and often allow you to study while you’re on the job. Work studies can add a few hundred dollars to your monthly income.
Even on a small income, you need still need to build up an emergency fund. Now that you have a budget add in a certain amount for your emergency fund. It can be only $25 or $50 per month.
An emergency fund helps take care of unexpected expenses. Such as a flat tire, problems with your car, some school-related expenses that weren’t budgeted for. It also helps keep you from using credit cards.
You might find that your budgeted expenses exceed your income. If that is the case, it shows that you may need two part-time jobs.
It’s difficult to avoid building up debt in college. While students loans will likely accumulate, it’s daily expenses that a budget is aiming to keep under control. The last thing a college student wants is to put daily expenses onto a credit card. If that sounds like you, Freedom Debt Relief can help keep your expenses under control.