Now is a great time to start making financial decisions that can set you up for long term success. College is expensive and learning to budget and allocate money in different categories will help you track your financial situation throughout the month.
Create a budget: there are so many budget templates that are available online. Outlining your income and expenses ahead of time sets up a clear financial picture for you for the month. Have money unaccounted for after you have everything budgeted? Splurge on that new restaurant or buy those new shoes!
Pay rent on time and in full: Paying rent on time helps build credit and also will help you establish a good rental record for later when you want to rent another apartment or home. This is one of the best ways to start establishing credit and showing you are a good renter.
Get a rewards credit card: getting a credit card is essential for helping you start to establish your credit scores. Use a credit card for one or two small bills each month and pay it off each month or every other month, to show consistent payments. You should also try to only carry a balance of 30% of your credit limit so it doesn’t negatively affect your credit score. As an example, if you credit limit is $500, you should only put $150 on your credit card at a time to stay at the 30% threshold.
Use an app to help save: there are so many great apps today that will help save for you without you having to even think about it. Digit withdraws small amounts from the account you link it to based on your spending habits. You can set limits so it does not withdraw if your bank account goes below a certain balance. You can withdraw this money any time to use as well! Want to take a spring break trip or saving for the Holidays? This is a great way to start saving.
Pack your lunch: eat at home when you can throughout the week so that your food budget is ready for your action packed weekend! Eating one meal at home each day can save you over $50 a month!
Take baby steps: Nobody said talking about money is fun, and you don’t have to go from 0 to 100 overnight. Even starting with one or two of these habits will help you build a strong financial future that goes well beyond college!