Here are a few tips for managing your budget:
Invest in a coffee-maker!
Buy in Bulk: There is a Costco card available at Student Services for a $10 deposit. Coordinate with friends and share the low costs of groceries. You can’t beat some of these prices.
Shop at Discount Stores: The Grocery Outlet, located in Marina (10 Miles North), offers discounts on foods and general household goods.
Take Advantage of Special Offers: Utility companies grant reduced prices for lower income households. Contact PG&E or Pacific Bell to see if you qualify.
Purchase the Sunday Paper for $1.50. It is full of grocery ads and coupons that can save you more than the price of the paper. Check for buy one get one free deals at Safeway and Albertson’s for items that you regularly purchase.
||No matter how well you’ve prepared for this year, your greatest challenge may be financial, not academic. To help you along the way, we’ve created the Zen of Budgeting.
If Buddha was a financial aid counselor, he would have said that financial hardship is inherent to most graduate school students and that the path of least suffering is through Fiscal Enlightenment.Nirvana would be a state of inner financial peace and contentment during the repayment period of their student loans. This could be gained by realizing the Eight Sacred Principles of Budgeting. In short, you must accept that your Starbucks desires will be postponed until you’re living on something more than a Folgers budget.
The Cost of Coffee
Here’s a reality check. You’ve had two hours of sleep, and you’re craving your daily visit to the local coffee shop. You order a Venti Carmel Macchiato, no skim, no whip, for $3.50. This adds up to $910 a year [$3.50 x 365], with an additional $64 in interest payments.
But instead of looking at budgeting as a serious downer on your lifestyle, view it as a road map that ensures your financial sustainability after graduation. Here are some quick budgeting tips!
Eight Sacred Principles to Budgeting:
- Set-up a daily expense tracking system.
- Determine your weekly, monthly and yearly expenses.
- Identify your estimated monthly resources, such as employment, gifts and grants. Loans should not be considered as a resource.
- Do the math, subtracting expenses from resources.
- Establish the loan amount that you will need to offset the lack of resources.
- Determine your loan repayment schedule based on existing loans and estimated future loans.
- Estimate your starting income with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor statistics.
- Estimate your out-of-school purchases such as a car, house or apartment, and clothing. Calculate their impact on your future salary.