Once you move away to college, a budget becomes crucial. Map out your various streams of income, including money your parents will provide, income from a job, and money coming from student loans, grants, and other types of financial aid. Then, categorize expenses so you knows where it’s all going. You’ll feel more in control if you follow a budget and have a clear picture of what is and isn’t affordable.
The trick with any budget is sticking to it. Once you have determined your budget, take some time to learn about how to make smart money choices that fall within the budget. College students should become masters at exploring the ways your educational status can save money. For example, try to choose free or low-cost social activities such as NDSU athletic events or city-sponsored events. Ask about student discounts at events or restaurants, use the free MAT bus for transportation, etc.
Another helpful tool is the online budgeting services called Mint. It makes money management easy and convenient and is available as a free app on your smartphone. Mint enables you to upload bank account and expense information so you can manage all of you accounts in one place. This ensures fewer missed payments and penalties, as well as easy access to account balances.