Cody Wiley, ‘Doah Contributing Writer
March 19, 2014
Money management has to be the two scariest and hardest words to comprehend for a college student. High schools do not prepare college bound seniors enough for the monumental task of managing money.
Most high school students do not know the first thing about managing money.
Before entering college, the majority of funds come from your parents and even with these funds they were used for all the fun stuff in life such as going out to eat, vacations, shopping and more.
Then, as college started, these unlimited funds as they seemed, stopped and what little allowance a student does get is used for necessities such as gas, groceries, laundry and other unforeseen expenses. How is a college student supposed to know how to manage their money well enough to be able to cover all of these costs and still have some left over?
I know from personal experience this is not an easy task but with a few tips you can get through it with money left in your pocket.
First, if possible, do not have a credit card. I am a swipe happy person. Swiping a card is so easy because you do not see any money coming out of your wallet.
When money is not physically leaving your possession, you get lulled into thinking you still have money to spend. Yes, credit cards can help build credit but they can destroy your credit just as easily.
Second, try to only spend cash. If you see the cash going from your wallet and the actual money depleting, you will be less likely to spend carelessly. Allot a specific amount to yourself each month. When those funds are gone, do not get any more money until the beginning of the next month.
Third, try to keep an expense report. While this may seem tedious, it will give you an accurate picture of what you are actually spending each time you make a purchase. There are tools to help in creating an expense report.
There is free app called Mint that will create a user-friendly expense report for you. You can also link it to your bank account and it will track your funds.
Fourth, always have an emergency fund on you. You never want to get into a bind or be stranded. Having a flat tire and not having any cash can be a problem. Not all places take credit or debit cards and not all places are safe places to swipe a card. Now I know emergencies can mean different things to different people. For example, in my case, Starbucks is not an emergency neither is Louis Vuitton.
Finally, set goals for yourself. Accomplishing goals is empowering and satisfying and before you realize it, you are setting new goals and being able to appropriate your money into different places, thus saving.
This is no easy task and it will be frustrating at times but the key is to be persistent and eventually you will see the difference and your wallet grow.