Budgeting goes a long way for starving college students

I’ve been told that I have expensive taste. This can sometimes be a problem seeing as, like most college students, I’m poor. Sure I have a job, or two, but after all the bills are paid it is difficult not to spend the rest of my paycheck on clothing and other things I don’t really need. Lately, all I want to do is shop. A new season means new clothing, right? 

Here’s some advice that can help you save money each month:

Budgeting is the number one thing to do when trying to achieve a goal each month to save money. To do this, you need to figure out how much money you generally make each month. 

Add up the amount you normally pay in bills, but be flexible with this portion of the budget, for it can go up and down. Subtract all of this, plus the cost of rent and how much you spend on food, from your monthly income in order to figure out how much money you have left over. Doing this helps me stay on track with how much money I have left over. 

When going grocery shopping, I try to only buy things that are on sale. Also, I go to places that have cheaper products before going to other places that have more expensive groceries. Many of the groceries stores have the same products, but some places are more expensive than others, so it doesn’t make any sense to buy them for more money than you have to. 

Coupons are also a great way to save money. Before going shopping, I gather all the coupons I can find and use them to lower the cost of everything I buy. A friend of mine said that she goes grocery shopping with all her roommates. 

By doing this they save money because they buy things in bulk and share everything. She said that they go every two weeks and only spend about $30 each. That is less than I spend a month going shopping alone. 

When shopping for clothes, there are many thrift stores in the Sonoma County area. It is sometimes difficult to find things that you like and that are in your size at thrift stores, but the deals are usually worth the trip.

 One negative about shopping at thrift stores is that they don’t normally accept returns, so be 100 percent sure about the item before you purchase it. 

Shopping online is also another way to get things for a discounted price. Sometimes to get over my need to shop I just go online and “window shop” until the feeling is out of my system. This helps me to not spend money on things I don’t need. 

When I first got a debit card, I wanted to buy everything online because it made me feel like an adult. The newness of that wore off when I started spending way too much money on things I didn’t need. 

The main thing to remember is that just because you have the money in your account doesn’t mean you need to spend it. Saving money is so important because you never know when something is going to happen when you need it. 

I like to think that for the most part I am pretty good at saving money. I have been saving my birthday and Christmas money since I was younger and because of this, when I feel the urge to spoil myself, I do. I do this to an extent of course: a new shirt or pair of shoes every once in a while. 

Don’t be afraid to spend money, just make sure it is in your budget before deciding to buy something.