Budgeting Tips for Online Degree Students

 

Students pursuing online degrees face pretty much the same financial challenges as those faced by students in traditional educational institutions. It always helps to have a budget, and today we have compiled a list of budgeting tips that will come in handy to help you manage your finances better and set some aside for a rainy day.

Be Realistic With Money

Most people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to budgeting. You need to know how much money you have at your disposal every month and how much you can actually afford to spend and save. Being unrealistic with money is simply spending more than you can afford. To avoid repeating the same spending mistakes, you need to come up with a budget. It goes without saying that needs come first and these include expenses such as food, accommodation, books and others. Including a miscellaneous category into your budget is a realistic move. A budget is just a plan and as we all know, things don’t always go as planned, you should therefore prepare for the unexpected. You can take about 10% of your total budget and put this aside as your miscellaneous money. In case you don’t use up the entire amount in a month it can always be directed to the savings account.

Identify Your Needs versus Wants

What are your needs and wants? You have to be realistic with your needs because you can also save on them. For example, while you need to have breakfast every day, you don’t really need to buy a cup of coffee at the cafe. You can save on this by personally preparing breakfast and other meals. The same goes with books which you obviously need in for your studies. You don’t really need to buy a new book when you can get the same used book at a cheaper price. Be smart and realistic with money.

Let Your Budget Reflect Your Values and Goals

Don’t try to be someone you are not, as this will make you spend your money on expenses that are not in your budget. If you enjoy to party then you need to include an entertainment allowance in your budget. This way, you know exactly how much you can spend on your nights out and it also helps you to avoid making excuses to divert from the budget. The other thing is that your budget needs to reflect on your personal goals, and these are both short term and long term goals. This way, you know what you are saving for. Having a goal is important and enough motivation to save.

Use Cash

Credit cards do a great job of enticing you to pay for what you know is out of your range. With credit cards, you know that you can pay for what you cannot afford at the moment and this is a sure way to pile up your debt. Leave your credit card at home and work with cash. Allocate a weekly amount of cash you can use and leave your ATM card for emergency situations only. Using cash is one of the best ways of keeping track of your expenses.

 


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September 5, 2013 by

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