MAKE A PLAN TO KEEP YOUR PLAN
GOING FOR COLLEGE? YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT THIS...
College: One of the best experiences in your life. Make it right!
Yes, is very exciting going for college, you're an adult now. Your real life by your own is just beginning and you're getting your first steps into the pool of adulthood, so here's some tips of how to manage with roomates, food, and the biggest thing in the adult world: MONEY.
What's coming in?
The very first step much before being on college, is calculating how much money you'll have per certain period of time, so set a time (I recommend monthly) and calculate ALL your incomes. Maybe loans, if your parents are going to support you, if you have any job, any scholarships, etc. All the constant incomes, add them up.
Where are you staying?
Do you have access to school dorms? THAT'S PERFECT! That'll save you transportation expenses and dorms are also cheaper than apartments by themselves, plus, is easier to communicate with roommates.
Take time to adapt...
College is a new world, so try to make all the necessary arrangements before you get there, because once you're there, you'll be bombarded with a whole new lifestyle in, and out of school. So, maybe for the first months... if you can, focus completely on school, then... if you feel that you're cool with it, get an on-campus job, and if you feel even more confident about your schedules and you want to increase your income then you can get an off campus job.
Something you do everyday... EAT!!
This is something necessary and daily, but food costs money, and is easy spend more than you think in this if you don't take it carefully.
First, do you live alone, or with roommates? You can split the expenses with your roommate and propose to plan a meal before you go to the grocery store, so you only spend in what you NEED, what you CAN AFFORD and nothing more.
Cut off old, bad habits.
Do you smoke? Cigarrettes can add up a good amount of money through time. Cut off that expensive barista drink, and choose to make your own at home. That bubblegum addiction. Slow down. Just, innecessary little expenses, that you can actually live without. The more you save, the better discipline you will build for the future.
Hey! Let's talk... money...
When it comes to money talks with friends ot just people our age we know is a little bit... awkward... OR VERY AWKWARD! But if you don't communicate a problem you'll get in trouble, so either if you are the one that may be a little late for the rent, or you are notiving your roommate just ate everything you just brought from the grocery store in an hour because she/he was sad and watching a movie... you have to communicate and be always conscient of what is happening money related, because it'll lead you to more problems if not resolved on time.
Just be honest! Almost everybody is in the same shoes.
If you are short of money, and your friends are going to get dinner and they're persuading you to come with them, but you know you have to use that money to buy some books, yes... you can say, "I pass this time". Don't worry, they are going to be more night outs, so skip that night splurge and keep focus in what you really need.
But... this is reaaaallyyyy goood...
Know what you want, and what you need... is not the same. Let's see... you are in the mall and you see this really cool... earphones... oops, they're $50, just what you need for that chemistry class books... sorry but yes GO FOR THE BOOKS!! You can save for those earphones, and believe me, they'll fit better in your ears when you've saved for them and did the right thing.
The wheels... burn money.
If you have a car, try to use it as less as possible. If you can, use the bike, walk... this will help your health, the ambience and YOUR WALLET!! Gas price is just rising and the car maintainance cost is also high, so this is an expence that you can, maybe not eliminate but reduce it considerably.
List it? Listo!!
Now that you have all you spendings, make a list. Every time you pay for something, it would be good to have a journal where you keep in track of every dollar you give away. This will make you in control of your money and is less probable to spend more than what you have when you do this. So, even is it's in your phone, or in a nice agenda, keep it in sight, and also see what are your spending habits, in what you may spend less.
The rest, for yourself.
If you have money left by the end of that certain time you chose. Keep it to yourself. SAVE!! Open a bank savings account where you'll be able to multiplicate it or invest it, so you'll also start learning about banks and the use of the benefits this institutions offer, which one fits you best, etc.