University on a Budget

University is naturally a challenging financial time, not only because this phase of life precedes the more lucrative years to follow, but because the variety of exciting options offered can encourage overspending.  However, if you can learn to manage your finances responsibly during your undergraduate years, you will have greater chance of a financially stable future.

We at Unemployed Professors have put together a set of useful tips to help you achieve a balance between financial prudence and enjoyment, while encouraging the development of habits that lead to greater prosperity down the road:

  • Make a Budget: at the start of the school year, create a spreadsheet, including your available funds, and your known and estimated expenses. The idea here is to ensure you’re in the black every month.  If in the red, brainstorm ways to reduce spending, and/or increase income.
  • Track Spending: there are useful apps that can help you track spending.  These include Mint, Wally, and Goodbudget.  You’d be surprised by the financial prudence you cultivate simply by tracking expenses.  When you’re aware of where your money is going, and places where it is being spent unwisely, you’ll be more likely to make prudent spending choices.
  • Revise budget and stick to it: as the school year advances, you should get a pretty good idea of what your expenses are. When this settles into a pattern, revise your budget, and then stick to it.
  • Be aware of academic revenue sources: you might be surprised to learn of all the places a savvy student can find funding.  Look into the scholarships, awards and bursaries available at your institution.  You would be surprised by how few applications are often submitted for many scholarships.  Don’t be afraid to go for these.
  • Resist impulse: the art of resisting impulse buys that you might regret later rests in clearly discerning the difference between wants and needs.  Understand exactly what you need for the school year, and do your best to focus exclusively on these.  Every once in a while, allow yourself to purchase a wanted item, but do so as part of your overall budgetary plan, rather than as an impulse buy.
  • Food: Try to buy your groceries in bulk, as much as possible.  Develop a meal plan, which will help you source the cheapest items you need.  Only purchase what you need.  Also, make your own coffee every day; a $3 coffee per day will end up costing you over $600 for the school year.  Beans in bulk, and a cheap coffee travel mug will go a long way to saving much-needed dollars.
  • Extracurriculars: Avoid the party lifestyle at all costs, not only because it is financially unwise, but because it deprives you of energy and time. Instead, choose invigorating social activities that are cheap or free.  Join others for walks, cycle, sightsee, or play tennis.  Student clubs and organizations cater to interests and activities without costing a fortune.

Many students face the financial crunch.  The art of finance in university largely centers on shrewd budgeting.  Before taking on a time- and energy-draining job to make up missing dollars, students should apply the tips outlined here.  Doing so will keep you focused on studies, while also cultivating great financial habits that will serve you well throughout life.

With that in mind, ask team of academic professionals at any questions you may have regarding their college writing services & they will be more than happy to guide you along the arduous path!