Budgeting Your Money Your Freshman Year

Your time as a foreign student should be very rewarding. It’s full of lots of new experiences and your time in the foreign country will be both interesting and confusing. One of the first things that you will have to deal with, even before your course starts is the foreign currency. In the US this is dollars and this is one of the most famous currencies in the world. It is important to budget your money so you don’t find yourself being caught short.

If this is your first time away from home, then it’s probably the first time that you have ever had to take care of yourself. This means much more than just cooking though. It’s also essential that you budget and ensure you don’t run out of money.

Working out your Expenses

The first thing you should do is sit down by yourself and come up with a plan. You should know how much money you have each month to spend. Hopefully your parents or another family member will send you money to start off with.

Later on in your course you may get a job which will give you a certain amount of regular income.

Then you can work out how much money you need to spend each month. There are websites which will show you how much food costs, and you should already know your monthly rent. You will also need to allow some money for textbooks, stationary and other equipment you need for your course.

Spending Carefully

When you go shopping you will probably see several things that you would like to buy. However, you should only buy what you actually need where possible. Of course, there will be times where you want to treat yourself and this is fine. However, make sure that your budget can allow you to spend the extra money.

A good way to ensure that you don’t spend more than you have is to take cash with you. If you take a debit card then it’s very easy to spend more than you intended. However, if you only have a certain amount of cash then you are physically restricted to the amount of money that you can actually spend.

Revising your Budget

Your budget isn’t set in stone. There will always be some unexpected expenses that cause you to go over your budget in some months. This is why you should continually revise your budget when you are surer about your monthly outgoings. You will probably find that at the start of your course you will need to spend more to buy textbooks and various other supplies.

Once you have settled into college life though, you should find it much easier to budget what you need to spend. If you don’t spend your entire budget then you can save the extra until you have some unexpected expenses which need your attention.

Being a student in America should be a great experience and one that can change your life for the better. It will also give you the understanding of how to budget your money correctly which is a very important and useful life skill.


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