Between drinks at The Boot, late night Ubers, and all the food that NOLA has to offer, it can be difficult to not accidentally blow through all your money the second you arrive on campus. For me, college was the first time I completely had to budget all of my own money, and I quickly realized that while many people had been doing this for years, others had never had to think about their finances before. Regardless of your financial situation, it is important to focus on yourself and find the best way to save money for you.
The first thing you can do is decide how much you want to spend of your savings or earnings each month. If it works better for you, you can try to budget a week first, or even biweekly. The money that you choose to use each month should be based on things like groceries, going out to eat, transportation, and anything else that is a regular and/or costly expense. It is also important to remember that you do not need to spend all the money you set aside for the month. In fact, it’s always better to overestimate your spending rather than to underestimate.
The most useful tip to help you keep track of your spending in college is to document every single thing that you spend money on throughout the month. You will be less likely to find yourself staring at your bank account wondering where all your money has gone if you are able to go back and track each time that you swiped your debit card.
Finally, try to find as many low-cost alternatives for everyday expenses as you can. Make or borrow an outfit for a themed party, try taking the free Tulane shuttle to the airport, or opt for dinner at the Commons rather than placing another Postmates order.
Remember that saving money is just a part of gaining independence, no matter your financial situation. When budgeting your money in college, it’s not only important to be conscientious, but to be grateful for what you have — while still treating yourself on occasion!!
Cover Photo: Hannah Leibovich