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What I Have Learned From Budgeting and College – Kate Brito – Medium

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Listen, we all know what’s happening here. Colleges are making thousands of dollars off of us, and it’s the reason why some kids don’t even go to college in the first place; it’s just too expensive. Why should we pay to go to school when we can just go out and get a job? Let’s see, to sum up what each high school graduates’ brain is saying: pay a lot of money to go to school, or get a job to start making money now, instead of in two or four years. It’s a difficult decision to make, be in debt for the next couple of years or live day by day trying to get by in your mothers’ basement. Now, I’m not saying that if you don’t go to college you’ll have a crappy job that pays close to nothing, what I am saying is that its more than likely to happen. We are in the day and age where one has to have a college degree to get “good jobs.” Companies are not going to hire someone unless they have a higher education level with the credentials to do the job. Now back to my point, I have no money. Like I am so broke that I am eating 35 cent ramen every night. I know people just think that is a college cliché but listen, it is very much real. I have every single loan imaginable and I eat Froot Loops for dinner.

These are my Froot Loopes that, like I said, I am eating for dinner.

The most important thing a college student can learn while at school is budgeting the money they have. Most kids go into college with a large sum of money that their parents give them to spend while they’re there. And most blow it in the first two months. Managing your money is not only an amazing skill to know while you’re in college but it is also a very useful skill to know in life. I learned how to budget my money from my mom. Growing up in a lower middle-class family is hard. You don’t get the things other kids have, and you have to do without on many occasions. But if it wasn’t for my mother who kept a strict leash on her spending’s, we would not have the things we have today. She put clothes on our backs and made sure we had pencils and paper to take to school every day. No, I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 14, and my first car was ten years younger than me, but you know what? I loved the hell out of those things. I cherished my phone and I adored my car, and it was all thanks to my mom who worked day and night to make our lives a little more easier than hers.

I learned how to budget what I had from an early start. If I received money from my birthday, I would save it and only spend it on the things I absolutely needed. Even now, in college, I save what little I have so that I can use it when it is necessary.

My mom didn’t sit down and teach me the step by step lesson on how to budget my money; she taught me visually and physically by having me by her side whenever we would go places. I learned by watching her deal with her money and strategically planning how much she would need for groceries this week and the amount she would have left over. I learned through her actions and those actions are what are keeping me afloat in college.

Although I did not have a step by step guide on how to budget, I am giving you one, just to save you a little trouble.

One: Look through all of your accounts and wallets to see the total amount of money that you have. Afterwards, calculate your pay checks (if you are working) to see the estimated amount of money that you will have for the week or month.

Two: After you have the total amount, start making a list of your weekly costs and bills that you will have to pay for the month.

Three: Once you have realistically put a price on the amount you will spend in a week, start to eliminate the things that you do not need. For example, those pesky subscriptions that you signed up for thinking you’d need them, when in reality, you forgot they even existed. With taking away things you do not need, you will save a lot more money to spend on other items that are more important.

Four: Remind yourself why you are doing this. To save more money, so you can have more cash to spend on much more important things.

Five: Throughout the week, while only spending money on necessary things, keep in mind that you are on a budget. Try not to veer from the path by buying things you do not need, like junk food.

Six: After budgeting for a while, you will start to notice that you have more money left over every week. Put that money away in a savings account and do no touch it unless it is absolutely necessary. You’ll thank me when you have the money you need to buy a certain item without relying on your next pay check.

Even if my list on how to budget did not help you, I hope that you have learned at least one thing from reading this. If it was not for my mom or the things she has taught me throughout life, I would not be alive. Mostly because I would have starved to death by now due to me not budgeting my money wisely.

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