Budget Tips for College Students

BFG offers the best budget advice for college students to stay on track with their finances

All college students need budgeting tips to help them stay afloat. Let's face it, between textbooks, tuition, room and board, and of course some fun as well, college is an expensive proposition. However, with the help of smart budgeting tips, any college student can have more success managing their finances and leaving themselves in a better position for the future.

  • Create a Budget: Use a budget planner tool to create a budget from the start. Many students don't even know how much money they're spending, or how much money they're working with. Using a budget planner will lay everything out all in the same place, account for different types of spending and expenses, and offer a blueprint for success.

  • Priorities: Establishing priorities are key for budgeting. How much money is available each month, and what absolutely needs to be spent? Determine the priorities moving from fixed necessary expenses, to variable necessary expenses, to discretionary spending.

  • Slashing Costs: Variable necessary expenses may include food, clothing and textbook budgets, for instance. Slash these costs where they make sense. Is the school meal plan a better deal than buying all meals out? Are used textbooks available at a fraction of the cost? Save on these variable but necessary expenses where possible.

  • Stop Charging: It's tempting for college students to simply start using credit cards and accumulating a great amount of debt. It's easy to fall way behind, and of course, it's much more difficult to pay off debt than to accumulate it. So if a credit card bill can't be paid in full each month, it's time to stop using that card except in case of emergency.

  • Pay Off Debt: If there is already accumulated debt on a credit card, begin paying that off. Count that as a necessary expense, and pay as much as can be managed without falling farther behind. Once that debt has been cleared, students are often amazed at how much easier their budgeting actually is as long as they stay on the right course.

  • Plan Ahead: Life is never all smooth sailing. That's why it's best to allot extra money for emergency or unexpected expenses. Even putting just a small contribution each month towards savings can make a big difference.

  • Keep Track & Adjust: With a budget in place and all of the above budgeting tips in mind, continue keeping track and adjusting as necessary. What's working and what isn't? Where is money going each month? What can be changed to increase success sticking to the budget?

BFG Federal Credit Union provides a wide range of financial services to college students and young adults. It is easy to stay on track with BFG's online budget planner tools and by obtaining a Savvy Money Checkup. Take advantage of debit and credit cards with the best rates, checking and savings accounts and more. Visit BFGFGU.org today to learn more and to find more strategies and tips for budgeting success.