Learning to balance a budget

College can be fun, but it can also have its expenses.

College is a good time for students to learn how to maintain a healthy budget, which can save them money in the future.

Eastern New Mexico University College of Business faculty Konni Wallace suggests, “Utilize all the resources possible, apply for all the scholarships that you can. Get a part-time job if you can. As far as managing your money, I would say you need to set a realistic budget on your living expenses and discretionary spending. I personally believe in utilizing as little loans as you can.”

Jessica Curtis, another College of Business faculty member said, “I suggest taking advantage of all the free things on campus, our stem lounge for stem students has free coffee and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. It’s a small way to balance your budget and save your money.”

Denver Pomale, a sophomore at ENMU, shared how he saves money while in college.

“Saving money for college isn’t always easy, especially in college. Personally, I had struggled to budget money my first year here. Since then, I’ve learned how to manage my funds a little better, and it has led to a much better quality of life. Learning how to choose which nights to eat in and eat out is crucial,” he said. “I spend about $100 on groceries every week and that allows me to eat at home during the weekdays. On the weekends, I treat myself and eat out as much as I want. I end up spending about $40-$50 over the weekend so all in all I spend about $150 over the course of one week which isn’t too bad. All in all, learning how to cook and eat in over the weekdays is a huge help when you’re trying to budget your money in college.”

ENMU student Jamauri Bennet saves money by transferring money from his checking account into his savings account. Shyanne Ussery saves money by putting money aside for bills, then uses the rest of her money for personal needs. She also uses an Excel spreadsheet for an online checkbook.

The following are websites that can give further guidance for managing finances: bestcolleges.com, collegeinfogeek.com, and petersons.com.

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