Managing Finances in College

brenton Uncategorized 1 Comment

As I write this blog I am currently booking my plane ticket home for Winter Break, paying off my credit card, and looking at big expenses for the rest of the semester including Christmas gifts. But right now it’s time for the random picture of the week:

Some friends and I in Chicago during the summer.

However onward to what is on my mind, finances and how to plan in college. Coming to college from the east coast was a challenge in itself however, when I came to USC I knew that it was the beginning of a journey that I wanted to take full advantage of. During that journey I wanted to start the process of becoming financially independent. I was granted with work-study, have had the same awesome job on campus for two and a half years currently at the Viterbi Admission and Student Affairs office, and have practiced trying to be fiscally conservative while in college.

Now fiscally conservative does not mean that I do not go out and have fun, it just means that I try to budget my money wisely while still having some left over to participate in events like Vegas Formal with my fraternity, dinners with friends, Disneyland tickets and a bunch more. I even paid all of my fraternity dues by myself during my Freshman year. Here are my tips to success:

1. Save a portion – Once I get a paycheck I immediately put a certain amount in my savings account. I do this just in case something happens and I need money when I am in a pinch. Also I do this so I can hopefully have enough money once I graduate to live on my own.

2. Pay important items first – I try to pay rent which includes gas, electric, and cable first. In addition if there is any money I owe to anyone I always deal with this first.

3. Credit is good  – I applied for a credit card last winter and it has been great! If you pay off your balances fully and on time then you can build good credit for when you get out of college. Also my credit card has points on it. I use the points to purchase “cash back” once every two months and receive money back for simply using the credit card even though I have never carried a balance at the end of a billing cycle.

4. Budget for big ticket items – Things such as concert tickets, spring break packages, Weekender deals, and plane tickets can sneak up. As soon as I know of a big purchase I try to start putting a little bit of money away each week for it.

5. Remember to spend on yourself sometimes  – I really enjoy going out to eat, tasting new foods, and buying personal books (I am really interested in reading about the Case Interview process right now). So I always try to remember that I work very hard in school in order to pay for money of my activities on campus and books and I should treat myself every once in a while.

I finding that balancing school and work is easy to do. I like that all of my time is not necessary consumed with class and I can focus on other tasks at hand when I go into work. Weirdly, it is kind of an escape for me. I take pride in my work, enjoy giving back to USC, especially Viterbi, and really like to see the end result of my work within the context of the office and within my life, giving me the financial independence to live on my own while school is in session.

Have a great weekend,

Brenton

Now Playing: I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift with Angels by The xx on deck.

 

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