Budget Icons RGB-01Money seems to be one of the biggest stresses for college students. When I started college, I quickly realized that keeping my high school spending habits would soon drain my checking account.

After that rude awakening, I realized that saving money was quite simple if I made a conscious effort to do so. Check out some easy tricks that helped me budget:

1. Use cash, instead of a card:

When you cash your paycheck every month, put it directly into savings. While at the bank, take out cash to pay for expenses and shopping.

Seeing the physical cash dwindle down to pennies instead of running a card when making a purchase will help you be more mindful of your spending habits.

2. Cut transportation costs:

The student UTA EdPass is free to students this year. That beats the costs of gas and car maintenance.

If you must drive every day, find someone you can carpool with and take turns driving to school. Walking is another inexpensive transportation option and it is beneficial for your health.

3. Find free or inexpensive leisure activities:

As college students, we are always looking for entertaining activities. The only problem here is that most of us don’t have copious amounts of cash to spend on luxurious outings.

Just because you are trying to save money, it doesn’t mean you have to cut back on having fun. Check out the Signpost every Friday for a list of free or cheap entertainment options in Ogden and the surrounding areas.

Playing sports in a park, checking out books from the library and taking advantage of the free activities on campus is a great way to spend leisure time on a budget.

4. Use your student status:

Did you know that you can get discounted rates at some stores or restaurants with your Wildcat ID?

Before you go shopping or out to eat, research places you can get a discount and make a conscious effort to use those discounts to your advantage. You might as well get the most out of that Wildcat Card!

5. Bring your own food:

When spending long days on campus, pack yourself a lunch and snacks. Spending money on food can add up faster than you think.

Also, limit the number of times you eat out. Eating in is a huge way to save money and if you chose the correct food items you can make eating in much healthier than eating out.

Give it enough time, and saving money will become second nature. Although it can be hard at first, learning to budget now will be beneficial in the long run and can send you well on your way to millionaire status.

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