Start with the fixed expenses you know, such as: rent, food, utilities, debt repayment, etc. These make up your NEED column. Then have a look at your WANTS: daily morning lattes, eating out, Spotify subscriptions, etc. Having a hard time listing your expenses? Download an expense tracker app like Mint or Wally– they’ll show you where you spend your money, cent by cent.
Now that you’ve looked at your wants versus needs, it’ll be easier to determine where you can decrease your financial footprint (and probably your carbon footprint, too!) Sell your used school books online, prep your meals at home, avoid cabs when you can, and use your NYU ID for city-wide discounts. Students have access to discounts on travel and transportation, retail stores, restaurants, museums and more. Check out the some of the Washington Square News’ favorite perks here. Always have your ID with you and don’t be afraid to ask if NYU students get a break.Was that so bad?
For a lot of students, summer means never having to say you’re sorry. (Wait. Huh?) What we mean is, summer usually brings fewer classes and more time to work, which is great when you’re trying to save money. And NYU wants to help– Head over to the Wasserman Center for Career Development, get your resume reviewed, and kickstart your job search! You can even meet with a career coach for one-on-one advice.
Money troubles impact our access to healthcare, education, housing and food– That’s all the bad news– However, growing a savings account and having a “rainy day” fund can help ease your burden and makes you less vulnerable to unexpected expenses. Saving is hardly ever easy, but developing the habit as a student will make a wealth of difference later on.
Follow the deals on Groupon, Foursquare and Amazon (e.g., used books or textbook rentals), and buy things when they’re discounted.
Pay your credit card bills on time every month, and pay off the balance whenever possible — or at least aim to pay more than the minimum.
Just because something has a price tag doesn’t mean the cost isn’t negotiable. Retail or customer service representatives often work on commission, so they want you to buy something.
Consider checking out books on budgeting and personal finance. Some books we love are “The Truth About Money” by Rick Edelman, “Why Didn’t They Teach Me This In School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By” by Cary Siegal, and “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason. The NY Public Library also offers free and open classes on budgeting and money management to the general public. (Google them!)
For more money management resources click here.