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Stretch that Cash: Tips on Budgeting and Smart Spending

budgeting, smart budgeting, tips on budgeting, how to budget, how to spend wisely, saving money

Budget, budget, budget. Prioritize what you want to spend on. Do you want to spend more on food, in exchange for limited use of your cell phone? Do you want to save up during the school week and splurge on a weekend night out with friends? Do you want to lessen your spending on gas to get that hardbound edition book you’ve been waiting for? Whatever your priorities are, budget your allowance according to them. Stick to your budget, spending only the allotted portion for each item of your expenses.

The road less taken. Learn new techniques or methods of doing things and always choose the less expensive ways. If you drive to school, find out the shortest route. You may also try carpooling with a friend, cutting into half your gas expenses. If you take public transport, get the most efficient and the cheapest way. If you have to read only a small portion of a book, borrow the book from the library or from a friend, instead of getting your own copy. If you’re renting your own place, get a roommate. The key is to discover ways to cut your expenses, but still getting the things you need.

Home-cooked food. We spend most of my allowance on food. To save a little, try to bring home-cooked food to school a couple of times a week. This way, you save lunch money.

Plan ahead. Sacrifice spontaneity for now. As much as possible, avoid surprise or unplanned spending. When shopping, make a list of what you really need, and stick to the list. Don’t be an impulse buyer. If you see something you like, try to think it over before buying. If you’re going out with friends, try to plan things out early, so you can key in this expense when planning your budget.

Be employed! Because you can only stretch your allowance so much, you might need an extra source of income to make ends meet. Get a part-time job, preferably one that’s related to what you’re taking up in school. Not only will this look good in your resume, you’re going to have that extra cash you need.
Published: 2009-05-23
Author: Heide Lynne Canlas

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