Budgeting for dummies

Briaune Knighton

Budgeting is a process that teaches students to be financially responsible and aids in preparing for long term goals.’ From exams, to projects and papers, the last thing a student needs is financial stress.’ But with something as simple as a paper and a pencil students can manage their time and money more effectively.

‘Budgeting is the main part of saving,’ said Kelvin Truitt, a 26-year-old CSUN alumni and business owner.

Truitt graduated with a degree in Business Administration from CSUN in 2005, through budgeting and financial stability, he was able to open his barbershop, In the Zone Barbershop of Granada Hills before earning his degree.

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘I now use my budget to keep financial structure in my business and family, said Truitt.’

‘ Student budgets can help keep track of expenses as well as prevent one from living life struggling.’ Here are a few simple steps to keeping a college student budget and maintaining financial stability.

Write it all down. Take time to write out all of your monthly expenses for the upcoming month and add them up to get a total expense estimate. The list should include items such as food, gas, telephone bill, and emergencies.

Prioritize.’ Items in your budget should mainly be the things you need in order to function on a monthly basis.

‘Budgeting made me realize that money comes and goes faster than you expect,’ said Angela Bowie, a 21-year-old Food Science senior.

‘It changed my way of buying what I needed versus what I wanted,’ said Bowie.

A $400 new pair of designer jeans should not be an item that shows up every month on your budget.’

Compare your monthly expenses and total income. Do the two add up? If your expenses outweigh your income try to discover ways to increase your income or reduce your expenses. One good way of reducing expenses is by using coupons. Making a small investment in a Sunday paper can save you months worth of money through the coupon section. Also, knowing your boundaries is key, don’t spend money you don’t have.

‘Don’t charge on a credit card anything you are not able pay back the next month,’ advised Marnie Nemcoff, vice president of marketing for the Matador Community Credit Union. ‘Use a debit card for major spending as opposed to charging up incredible balances on credit.” ‘ ‘

One major step in financial stability is saving. Be sure to include your savings in your budget. Once you figure out an amount that you can part with on a monthly basis, put it in a high interest savings account and leave it there.

‘Even $5 a month helps,’ said Nemcoff. ‘Save something for a rainy day.’

Remember, it adds up. The more money you save, the more you’ll have for an emergency or even a well-needed vacation, such as spring break.

Most importantly don’t forget to treat yourself, do one nice thing for yourself each month. This way you remain happy and so does your wallet.

If these simple steps are followed, financial stability will be right around the corner. Budgeting holds the key to the future and through budgeting you are on the right track towards living out your dreams or even owning your own business.