That sweet taste of freedom you get as you move into your first apartment as a college student and say goodbye to dorms can be exhilarating. But don’t make the mistake of not living within your budget in your excitement. Read on for US News and World Report’s
Be sure your apartment is one you can afford. Don’t be swayed by fancy amenities and focus on getting the cheapest apartment you can, as long as it is safe and livable.
Make a budget and stay within it. List all your monthly income and expenses, like rent, utilities, food, and entertainment, even if you have to estimate for the time being. Use a free budgeting app like Mint, Level Money, LearnVest, or Budget Ease to keep track of where your money is going so you can live within your means.
Save money by buying used textbooks or renting them, which can be done online. Find more savings by always asking for student discounts wherever you go. From restaurants to the movies and more, many places will give a discount in return for a flash of your Student ID.
While it’s a great idea to get a credit card to build credit, it’s dangerous and easy to get way over your head in debt. Be smart and live the plastic at home and use cash instead, especially for a night out on the town.
Finally, it’s never too early to start a savings account. Even if you can only save a little bit, it’s good to get in the habit. Plus, if you ever wind up needing money in an emergency, you’ll be prepared.