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Teaching College Students How to Budget and Save Money

Updated on August 30, 2012

Save Money and Budget for Your Expenses

Saving money, budgeting and finance are as important to know about, as getting a college education. You need to know how to navigate your way around the dollars and cents of life. Saving money is always a good habit. You will need money for a rainy day at many points in your life. Having money and being able to pay for things is one of the things that helps you feel secure in life. And if you have saved well, and use the money to enhance your lifestyle you will enjoy a sense of freedom, a feeling of independence, and a better quality of life.

To save money it is wise to start with a conscientiousness and an awareness about your individual needsand spending habits. Good habits start with making a concerted effort to not waste money. It could be little things, like not letting your car sit with the motor running for long periods of time, while you chat with your friend. It could be looking at your cell phone charges to see if you need all the extras added to your monthly bill. It could be a matter of eating out less, or doing with less. How much will it affect you, if you didn’t buy that new piece of clothing?

College Students Can Learn the Habit to Save Money

To Save Money We Have to be Conscientious

Conscientiousness to save money starts with knowing yourself, talking to yourself, and listening to your internal messages. Ask yourself why you spend money on the some things and not on others. What meaning do you attribute to the things you think you need. To save money, start by separating your wants and your needs. Wants are desires and nice things to have. Needs are things you can not do without. Make this list and be honest about what you really really need. This will help you decide where you can save money.

Sometimes when we are looking to save money, not be able to do some things, gives us a feeling of deprivation. This feeling may be uncomfortable to deal with and the only relief we get is to go and buy something. Feelings, left unchecked are hard to balance within ourselves. We need to understand ourselves better in order to substitute the uncomfortable feeling with something other than a purchase. To save money, you need to be disciplined. This is also a hard behavior to modify, because being disciplined could mean we are being restrictive and controlling our own behavior. It is much more fun to control something or someone else. To save money, we need to understand where our feelings are coming from, so that we can enjoy the greater gain and see the bigger picture.

Learn to Handle Your Finances Better

What is the bigger picture? Very often, when we spend money on things without thinking about it, it comes from an impulsiveness. We don’t save money because we feel we have to fill the need now, and it is more of short term thinking, an immediate response. To wait,feels too long. A short sightedness will, we think, help us right now, because we think “we can’t do without it”. To save money, may just be a matter of thinking differently, so that you don’t feel deprived or restricted, or unable to deal with uncomfortable feelings. Guaranteed that if you change your thinking, you will change your habits. If you change your habits, your lifestyle will change. Making a habit of changing your thinking will bring you closer to having the life you want to lead. It is a good idea to seek a mentor, or someone you trust to help you learn how to handle your money better. If you find yourself compulsively spending, you may need to deal with this aspect on a different level. Some people are able to do this themselves, and some people seek counseling. You can go to a mental health counselor, or a credit counselor, whichever areas you think you need lessons on. You could go to both types of counselors, as they each have an expertise in different areas that you could learn.The main thing to do, is to do things that will help you now. Don’t stay frozen in place and continue with mindless spending. You will pay for this forever, mentally and financially.

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

A simple way to start changing your thinking is to learn about opportunity costs. Opportunity costs is a matter of looking at what you buy now, what it will return to you in the present moment and the future. Compare this to what you could be giving up in the future because you spent this money now and won’t have it for something else you may want or need.

Spending excess money is also a matter of understanding what it can do to your credit rating, should you go into debt and not pay your bills promptly. A good credit rating is like gold. It can get you things you need anytime, because lenders want to extend their money to people they know will return it to them. Buying a house, or starting a business may be one of those things you will probably need to borrow money for. An excellent credit rating is very valuable for your entire financial future. Just as a college student looks to have good grades to help them get into a good graduate program, or to compete and get the desired job, a good credit rating will help you succeed in gaining a loan at a lower interest rate. A negative credit rating will negatively impact your financial desires. If you need assistance with handling your debt, you can seek out a reputable credit counselor, but be aware, there are many scams out there, so it is important to know who you are dealing with. A credit counseling agency with a good reputation will be disclose their fees to you. There are many credit counseling agencies who are non profit, and will help you for free or at a very low cost. Investigate and research so you know about the company you are dealing with. Some universities have credit counselors on hand. Check with your college to see what credit counseling services are available to you.

Be Dollar Savvy ~ Save Money

Budgeting your money is an important part of saving and developing good habits to help you live within your means. Strive to take care of yourself by taking care of your money. Learn what money and materialistic purchases do for you. Be savvy about your credit rating and at all costs try to avoid debt as much as you can. Your college education is an investment in yourself that will repay you, your entire life. Do something with yourself that is worthwhile and makes you feel good about who you are. If you have college loans to pay back, you will need to know how to handle your finances well. Save money to give yourself financial security, and you will feel freer about your other efforts and endeavors you take on.


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    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      An accomplished piece of writing! Even at my age, I have learned something new. I liked "Conscientiousness to save money starts with knowing yourself, talking to yourself, and listening to your internal messages." I also loved " change your thinking, change your habits." Bookmarking this and rated up! Many thanks.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Thank You for an excellent hub of love. I wish I would have started young and used common sense tips many years ago. Today it is difficult to save, let alone pay bills. God is provision and has so taken care of things. There is no guarenteed income in this family for many months like 20. God is good and awesoeme His promises are true or we would be homeless. I look forward to prospering this year. I am being led. Thank you and I know I was to read your writing. Heh you got it 'sista' Love n hugs