By JESSIE TRAUDT
How am I going to pay my tuition? How will I afford rent, groceries and gasoline this month? Am I ever going to have any extra spending cash for occasional nights out with friends? These are all questions that most college students are asking themselves on a daily basis. I understand that everyone is in a different financial position, but half of the time we spend money on the truly unnecessary things and then wonder why we’re broke.
I was raised as a thrifty individual who was always on a budget and always looking for ways to extend those funds, whether by working more or creatively stretching the money that we did have. What I learned from that is whether we feel secure with our finances or find ourselves constantly struggling, it is our duty to be resourceful and organized with what we’ve been entrusted.
An extremely helpful tool that I discovered earlier this year and highly recommend is Mint.com. Mint is an online resource that will bring all of your financial accounts together, categorize your transactions, help you establish budgets, and aid in reaching savings goals. This is an incredible service for many reasons: you can view all of your bank accounts in one spot, closely monitor your spending in each category, make realistic financial goals, and ultimately learn wise practices for managing your money.
My hope is that if you don’t already have an established method for tracking your finances, this will give you a place to start. And, Mint actually makes budgeting fun! Or maybe that’s just for the organizing, category-loving, spreadsheet-obsessed kind of girl like me.