Posts filed under ‘budgeting’

Budget Down to Your Belly

Many college students have a limited budget. They are not able to spend money on things they may want, simply because they don’t have it. Instead, many result to the less expensive, next best thing.

According to an article by Investopedia, there are many industries that are benefiting from broke college students, for this reason. One industry that obviously benefits from college students is the alcohol industry. This would apply to all liquor stores, bars and beer/alcohol companies. Other companies that this article says are benefiting from college students are discount furniture stores, the automotive industry for economy cars and big box stores such as Target and Walmart. A major industry that is benefiting is fast food chains such as McDonalds, Taco Bell and Burger King. These are restaurants where students can quickly pay for food and almost instantly receive their meal. It’s simple and cheap.

Food is a main component that people spend money on. It’s a big expense in any household. I mean, after all, everyone has to eat! Whether you’re cooking in or eating out, you’re spending money for that meal. You either need to buy your meal from a restaurant or buy the ingredients to cook.  Eating out adds up, and although it’s nicer and easier than cooking, you should limit yourself to how much you go out. Buying groceries will last longer and be cheaper. With a little prior planning, you can lower spending more than you probably think.

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There are several things you can do as a buyer to lower the amount you spend while grocery shopping. First, you should always go with a list and stick to it. You should check what you already have in your kitchen so you don’t buy food you don’t need. Have a budget right off the bat of the amount you’re able to spend on groceries. Another good tip would be to keep your receipts. This is a good way to compare different shopping trips or food stores to find the best one. When shopping, it’s also helpful to buy things that can be frozen. This way, you can save food you don’t eat right away, and save it for later so it doesn’t go bad. Look for specials, sales and coupons. Stocking up on sales and buying in bulk will definitely help save! If you must go out, try and find coupons online or go when there are special deals at a restaurant. Happy eating!

May 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Being Transportation Savvy Can Go a Long Way

This blog has been about how students today may have a difficult time budgeting their money. An article in USA Today expresses how young people in America struggle with financial literacy.  It states that financial literacy tests given in high schools, has had decreasing tests results within the last decade. One main factor of budgeting money that is spent, starts in high school and follows all through adulthood, with driving.

I’m sure a lot of money that students earn goes toward putting gas in their car. I know mine personally does. Gas prices have sky rocketed and before you know it, you need to fill your tank up again. Between driving to and from school, work, running errands and other events you may take part in, gas in your car is just burning away.

According to The Coupon Bible, one of the main ways you can save money on gas is being frugal when running around. I’m sure when you go out on your shopping trips you don’t consider the amount you’re driving, because you have to go there anyways. If you have to go to more than one store or make a few errands, go all at once. Make a list of what you have to do and hit all those stores in one day. However, within that list, you should obviously plan out the most beneficial traveling routes for you to spend the least amount of miles driving.

You shouldn’t drive if you don’t have to. If your destination is near by, you should choose to walk or ride a bike. Not only will you be saving gas, but hey, it’s also good exercise! In addition to this, it’s beneficial to your bank account if you start calculating the miles per week you drive. I’ve realized that I drive close to 150 miles a week, going back and forth to where I need, but also want to go. I’ve started limiting the number of miles I drive in a week just two weeks ago and can tell my gas is already lasting longer.

Also, if you have a friend or co-worker going to the same place, it’s always a smart idea to carpool. Ride with someone or even take turns driving. Either way this will reduce the money you spend on gas and is also in the best interest of the environment.

Here are a few other tips dealing with your car that can ultimately save money. First, you can apply for gas station credit cards, which provide discounts on gas. Keep your car well maintained, such as on time oil changes and properly inflated tires. And obviously buy the cheapest gas you can find because every cent counts!

May 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

Start Thinking to the Future!

Even if you’re making enough money and are well off now, it’s never too early to start saving. Although you may be covering all your expenses just fine at the time, what about the future? The new hype issue in the campaign has been all about student loans.

According to Andrea Bulfinch at Foster’s Daily Democrat, student loans interest rate may double from 3.4% to 6.8%. This is a main reason why students need to start balancing their life and college loans now. President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have apparently spoken this past week in agreement, strongly requesting Congress to halt the increase in student loans.

As a result of this, parents and students should start paying attention to the amount they spend, in addition, to the cost they will pay when selecting a college. According to an article by NBC, investors can control their college savings plan fees. The Coalition of Mutual Fund Investors have found that plans sold through brokers and financial advisors, charge more than twice in annual fees, as opposed to those who choose directly through states or manage their own finances. The advisor sold plans were on average 2.15 times higher.

In rebuttal, this isn’t to say that students or families paying for professional advice aren’t getting their money’s worth. According to the article, if people are new to investing or already have a financial planner they trust, the outcome could be worth the benefits.

In addition to saving for student loan expenses, students must also conserve money for credit card and car loans, along with all the costs of living and extras they want to participate in. It’s never too early to start budgeting now and keeping it under control.

The first thing you should always do is apply for financial aid. You should also apply for as many college scholarships as possible, even during the time you’re attending college. Billions of dollars each year are given to students and anything helps! It could be you. Another good tip is to make sure you’re signing up for classes you need and want to take. Dropping classes will only waste your money and time, which could then ultimately delay your graduation. Paying for an additional semester or years of college will only increase your tuition expenses during that time and the loans you’ll have to pay off later. Be smart and plan ahead now!

April 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment


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