Living on a budget can be a difficult task, especially if you’re in college and you feel like you don’t have enough time to work more hours or even work at all. However, if you stay on your budget, you can definitely learn how to spend and save your money in a smart way.

Download a budgeting app. Mint is a great budgeting app that allows you to track your savings and spending. This app also gives you alerts when you are close to your budget or have gone over your budget. You can create categories within the app to check to see how much you are spending on food, rent, gas, and other bills that are frequent  in your life. You can also set up a plan to help you save money toward a certain goal. This app will keep you on track and show your spending habits so you can learn where you are spending too much money.

Take advantage of any freebies at your college or university. This is a great way to stay on budget without having to spend a dime. Your school may give out free t-shirts, coupons for local stores, free food, and other free items that may be useful to you.

Also, if you have  a meal plan, use it! You are already paying for it through your university’s payments, so why not eat at your university’s cafeteria instead of spending your money eating out. This will save your money for other things that you would like to purchase.

Being a student does have it perks. Many restaurants and shops give students discounts. Make sure to ask before you pay because you new know how much you will save. This even applies to online shopping. Companies such as Spotify and Urban Outfitters give student discounts, and keep in mind every dollar saved is helpful.

If you need to make some extra money, sell personal items or clothes you don’t use or wear anymore. You can even find opportunities to work for a couple of hours at large events in your local area. For example, Cheer Sport has huge events at large domes, and restaurant vendors need extra hands. Working those events for a few days can give you quick cash without having to commit to a job if your schedule does not allow it.

Remember, sometimes wants are not needs. Learn to prioritize what you really need for the time being. Also learn to save money in case an emergency occurs. Anyone can live on a budget if you use the resources that are available to you, and don’t hesitate to reach out to others for help. Not everyone started out as a master of budgeting; it takes time and practice. Stay patient and consistent and you will master the art of budgeting before you know it.

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