(This is a guest article by Heather Johnson*)
When you’re in college you never have enough money. It’s just the way it is, unless you’re a trust fund brat. If you don’t have mommy and daddy’s big pockets, you have to find alternative ways to get by. Chances are most of your purchases will revolve around beer and books. With this in mind you have to figure your budget for each semester to have a goal of saving enough during the summer and winter breaks. But when you’re actually at school, there are many ways you can make sure you always have a little dough to spare. Here are five tips for saving money when you have no real income while in college:
- Have a financial record. This can be as easy as having a sheet of paper in your desk where you can keep track of your income streams and expenses. Write down how much you’ll have coming in during the month and what you have going out. This will keep you prepared and aware of what you have at your disposal. Once you have this knowledge you’ll know what you can afford when it comes to the weekend. Too bad the weekends start on Wednesdays. Good luck.
- Keep your receipts. This sounds tedious but it’s important in case you’re ever overcharged. You can’t afford a company’s mistakes. If you’re overcharged you’ll have the receipt to recoup your lost money.
- Spend money only on what you need. If you went to the store for a twelve-pack then don’t come out with a case and a bottle of wine. Only buy what you absolutely intended on buying. You never know when a parking ticket will appear on your windshield or when you’ll need a new set of tires. Always be prepared for a hidden expense.
- Consider your options. Go to a local bank near your school and speak with a financial services representative about the different programs they have specifically geared to college students. Most banks will have some system in place for college students and are great ways to get introduced to the real world.
- Pay your bills on time. The last thing you need are late fees and other expenses associated with not paying your bills on time. Stay current with your credit card bill as the interest alone can clean you out later on down the road. If you stay up to date with your bills there will be no out-of-the-blue fees.
*About the author:
This article was contributed by Heather Johnson, who is a regular writer on the subject of instant credit card approval. She welcomes your questions, comments and writing job opportunities at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.