Learn how to manage money, budget


We all know the stereotype of the college student who is “always broke.” Many of us know students who never have enough cash to afford what they need, even some of those reading this article will qualify. Luckily, the Simpson College SIFE team’s article for this week will teach you how to better manage your money, so that you will be able to afford the necessities of college life–gas, food, and beer–as well as any other novelties you may wish to have.

While brainstorming ideas for an article I came across studentfinancedomain.com, a helpful website that provides college students with free money management advice. One of the articles on the site covered budgeting, prompting me to look more into the how to’s of making a student budget. When you first hear someone talk about budgeting, it may sound like a pain, having to sit down and write out all of your expenses for a given time period. However, creating a budget enables a student to assess his or her financial health, analyze assets, and learn how to manage money for future use.

At this point you may be saying, “Well, that’s fine but I don’t have the time or the knowledge to make a budget!” Fear not, because according to Student Finance Domain, creating a budget is really a simple, three-step process. First students must assess their finances. After that, students set their financial goals. Finally, the students should prioritize their expenditures.

The whole process begins with assessing finances. Add up all of the potential income in a school year, including the money your parents provide you, as well as the money you earn from working throughout the school year. Include assets like savings bonds, checking accounts, and savings accounts, but remember to differentiate assets and income because the holdings in bonds, checking, and savings are fixed and cannot be replenished throughout the year. It is vital to the planning process that you are completely honest with yourself at this point. You may realize that you are financially comfortable or might discover that you need to get a job in order to see the kind of income that you desire. Either way, through this step, you will begin to discover the reality of your financial standing. To learn the remaining steps in creating a budget, please check out the full version of the article online at www.thesimpsonian.com/sifebudgeting/.

Just remember, when it all comes down to it, you are in control of your financial health. A student budget will keep you on track and help you realize your goal.