You’re embarking on a great career choice but have years of tight budgeting and tough financials ahead of you. You’ll be leaving school with prospects under your belt and you don’t want to sabotage your success by destroying your credit while you’re in school. We’re going to go over the best ways to keep your household finances in order while you work hard on your future.
Budgeting is a great habit to learn as early as possible. You won’t realize how much of your many goes to needless expenses and splurges until you’re tracking every dollar. This sounds daunting but there are websites and software programs that make this easy for you. Use them so you don’t get overwhelmed.
The basics of budgeting involve adding up your monthly expenses and working backwards. Consider monthly bills, yearly expenses like taxes and car registration, and weekly expenses like food and gas. All of these will need to be considered to stay on top of your finances.
Once you’ve identified where your money is going, make some changes. If you find your often short on money for a cell phone bill, cut back on your gas budget and commit to walking to destinations closer than 2 miles.
Feed yourself frugally
Don’t fall into the habit of ordering out and hitting the drive through when hunger strikes. While not recommended for sustaining life, an instant noodle diet will be so easy on your wallet it’ll be hard to spend more on food when you have the means. Think simply and frugally to keep your food budget to a minimum.
Schools offer very enticing meal programs but sometimes these are still twice or even triple times what you may be able to spend with strategic planning, a simple diet, and a little couponing. If you find yourself using the school’s cafeteria, take snacks and leftovers back to your dorm so you avoid spending on vending machines.
Learn to cook simple things and get a device like a rice cooker to make good, cheap, and healthy meals. Your body and wallet will thank you profusely.
Don’t fall behind in bills
It might be difficult to get into the habit of paying your bills religiously but it has to be your number one priority during these years. Being a student is not a big pause button on responsibilities in the real world.
If you find that your student loans aren’t covering all of your expenses while you’re in school, consider taking out a personal loan. Personal loans can provide you with the money you need now and the ability to take care of it later. For additional info, take a look at UK Home and Personal Loans or a similar website.
Create a network of support
As an engineering student, you’ll be fortunate to be surrounded by people in the same situation as you. Having a social life doesn’t need to break the bank and having the support of your peers will be invaluable as you complete your degree and navigate your financial situation. Get together for potluck dinners or boxed wine parties to keep your frugal life fun.