Don’t Let Your Monthly Bank Statement Surprise You!

By Diana Vega on August 18, 2012

Financial management can sometimes be a big challenge, especially for us college students. We’re living on our own, we have books and school supplies to pay for, and there are just too many appealing events begging for our money. If you pull out cash, you may be able to keep track of how much you’re spending by checking your wallet; however you still won’t be completely sure of what your account looks like. If you have a debit card it’s even harder to be aware of how much you’re spending since you’re swiping a piece of plastic rather than actually carrying money. With either method you run the risk of exceeding your balance, but with some smart moves you can definitely keep this from happening.

The easiest way to keep your money from escaping is simply by being a smart shopper. Taking advantage of the various deals that stores promote each season, putting coupons to use, and asking about student discounts are all helpful ways to keep your wallet in good shape. As small as these discounts may be, they really do add up in the long run. Browsing around thrift shops is another excellent way to find bargains, and it’s a fun way to spend time with friends too! Also, let’s not forget that thrift shops are havens for everything awesome, vintage, and retro. What’s not to love about getting the best for less?

Of course, being cautious of where you shop can only go so far to keep your balance steady. The rest lies in your self-control. I’ve found that it’s particularly helpful to decide on a weekly budget and to set up a rewards system. That way, if you stay under your budget one week you can add a few dollars, plus your rollover money, to the next week’s budget. By the end of the month you’ll probably still have a little extra! Another wise thing to do is to evaluate your purchases as you’re about to make them. Always ask yourself how much you really want something and how useful it will truly be. A lot of times people will buy things out of impulse only to keep them hidden away in a corner, which is always a waste. Then there’s the most obvious rule of all; don’t make any large, unnecessary purchases until after you have paid for all of your essentials. It’s really not difficult at all to keep yourself in check!

Unless you are extremely organized and keep a pocketbook record of your purchases, you will most likely always be uncertain of your balance until your monthly bank statement arrives to slap you in the face. I’m not saying that you should be stingy; by all means, it’s college, have fun! But do spend wisely and at least be certain that you’re getting the most bang for your buck! Good luck!

By Diana Vega

Uloop Writer

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