Must Follow Budget Tips for College Students


In a few short weeks college students will fill classrooms and auditoriums across the country, learning everything from interpretive dance to theoretical physics. Universities offer a wide-range of courses, but one skill that is often overlooked is teaching young people how to handle money. It seems like a simple idea, but paying bills and learning to not overspend on things you don’t need is largely learned through trial and error. You can become a savvy budgeter with these must-follow budget tips for college students, and learn more about Colonial’s no fee checking account.

Separate “Wants” from “Needs”

One of the most difficult challenges college students face when creating a budget is the ability to separate “wants” from “needs.” The best way to separate wants from needs is to sit down and create a list of your monthly expenses so you have a well-rounded understanding of where your money is going. Needs should include money for rent and utilities, groceries and food costs, transportation and more. These are things that you absolutely need to be mindful of when creating your budget. Once you have calculated the costs of your monthly needs, you will know how much money goes toward you bills and expenses, and how much money you have left over.

Become a savvy budgeter with these must-follow budget tips for college students, and learn more about Colonial’s no fee checking account.Wants on the other hand are things that are not completely necessary for you to live on, like a new dress to wear to a party or a ticket to your favorite band’s a concert. You don’t need to eliminate your wants altogether, but knowing where your money is going can help you reduce frivolous spending habits.

Save for the Unknown

It’s impossible to predict the future, but you can ensure you have the funds available if you run into the unexpected. Also known as a rainy day fund, saving for the unknown is an important part of any budget. When you receive your paycheck or student aid, set aside some money that will go into a savings account even before you pay your bills. By setting aside your money first, you will be less likely to spend it on something that you don’t need. Now if the unexpected happens, you will have money set aside to help you get out of a sticky situation.

Be Smart with Credit Cards

An easy way to have a financial setback is to spend more on your credit cards than you can afford. With the high interest rates that can accompany many credit cards, young people can easily fall behind on their credit card bills. However, you may not want to avoid credit cards all together. Having a credit card is a great way to establish and build credit. Just be aware of the importance of using your credit cards responsibly. Colonial offers competitive rates on credit cards. Learn more here.

Take Advantage of Budgeting Tools

Technology has changed the way we learn, shop and even how we manage our money. If you use a debit or credit card, your spending is recorded digitally. Instead of keeping receipts from all your purchases or balancing a checkbook, you can take advantage of budgeting tools online. You simply link your accounts to the tool of your choice, set your budgeting goals and monitor it through an easy-to-access app. To learn more, check out Nerd Wallet’s article on the “Best Budgeting and Saving Tools.”

Go with a No Fee Checking Account from Colonial

Speaking of easy-to-access online tools, Colonial’s no fee checking account allows you to access your account online, and you can sign up for text alerts that help you to track your spending. Colonial’s no fee checking account requires only a minimum of $100 to open, with no monthly fees. The Colonial App makes it easy to monitor your accounts. To learn more, visit our checking accounts webpage, or give us a call at 817.390.2000 and ask to speak to a banking representative today.

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