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The Antelope

The Antelope

How to use budgeting to your advantage, save money

Graphic by Josie McCormick / Antelope Staff

Navigating the financial landscape of college life can quickly become very overwhelming, especially when we are faced with purchasing new textbooks every semester, tuition and trying to get involved in social activities.

Starting college was a new chapter in my life where I was gaining independence, but it was also a time when I had to develop money management skills. With that experience, I want to be able to give tips on how I have adapted my money management skills.

Tracking my expenses has been the key thing that keeps me on the right path. For example, I started to notice several monthly subscriptions that I was being charged for that I had completely forgotten about. Although it was a small difference, once I canceled those subscriptions, I was able to notice that I wasn’t losing as much money. Keeping tabs on where your money is going is the first step in understanding your spending habits. 

Once you have a better understanding of your personal spending habits, creating a budget is the next step. Most college students work part-time jobs, which is why you should prioritize essential spending. Essential spending could be monthly rent, gas and groceries. After you get those out of the way, then you can factor entertainment into the budget. Creating a budget may not seem important now, but it will ultimately lead to financial stability in the future. 

The main reason people attend college is to get their degree, but I also believe it is important to be social and enjoy some time away from our computer screens. Going out and doing something fun doesn’t need to break the bank. Going on walks or bike rides is a fun and inexpensive activity. Something that I like to do with my friends is have game nights. It is always a fun time and a great way to get together without spending money. There are also a lot of events on campus that for the most part are free. 

As college students there are so many hidden student discounts that are available to us. Chegg is a website that sells textbooks for a cheaper price than a school bookstore. Spotify, Hulu, Apple Music + TV and software subscriptions are just a few companies that offer amazing student discounts.

My last tip would be to plan for future expenses by setting money aside. Summer break is right around the corner and it is a great time to plan a vacation. Saving some money in advance will help you be less stressed about finances when your vacation comes around. 

Budgeting is an essential skill to have while being in college. It sets you up for success when it comes to your life post-graduation. Take control of your finances and enjoy what being in college has to offer without breaking the bank.  

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Gisell Torres
Gisell Torres, Reporter
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