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Budgeting for College

More Than Balancing a Check Book

Budgeting for college is an important concept because without proper budgeting you will find yourself trapped in debt. Proper budgeting encompasses budgeting your time, your money, your scholarships, and everything else in college.

Being able to budget your money, primarily, and not end up selecting bad loans will help you to create a viable future family. Budgeting your time will help you to be able to accomplish all of your goals in a timely fashion.

Learning to budget your time and money means that you will be able to budget those two items for your future family.

1. Stay Focused

The first tip for budgeting for college in terms of your time is to make sure that you focus on one thing at a time, whether it is studying, a paper, a project, an errand, or anything else. 2) You will work better and more efficiently if your mind can close out everything else and focus on the task at hand.

2. Start with Boring Homework

Take the most monotonous of your studies first, when your mind is fresh and just beginning. Saving those for last will only make them more dull than they already are and you will likely not want to study and give up in exchange for sleep or television. Bugeting for college is not just about money but about time and how well you manage it.

3. Choose the Best Time for Studying

Use the first week of classes to determine what time is best for you to study. Once you decide whether you study better at night or during the day, plan your schedule around that time. Some people are better staying up all night, while others prefer to go to sleep at the same time and wake up early. If you don't know, then try both and see which one works better.

4. Carry Note Cards

Carrying note cards with formulas, verbs, or definitions are great to have readily available in between classes, while waiting in lines, or traveling. If you prefer using a tape recorder, they make great study companions. You can record the lecture and listen to it in your free time.

5. Common Place

When you study, use the same area. This way your body will get accustomed to focusing quickly since the area will become like a third place for you. Don't use your designated study area for anything but studying. Try places like the library or a study lounge on campus with limited noise and distractions that has tables, chairs, desks, or computers if you need it. Budgeting for college is not difficult and this is only part of it.

If you need your computer or another computer for one of two assignments, either don't turn on the computer until the first assignment is finished, or turn off the computer once the other assignment is finished so that it won't distract you while finishing.

As mentioned, don't study on your bed or anywhere that you sleep. You want to be relaxed, but not so relaxed that you aren't alert, so large couches or comfy chairs should be avoided. Sitting upright at a table or desk is best to keep you comfortable but energized.

6. Write Down Your Thoughts

If you are prone to random thoughts which distract you, then keep a notepad nearby so that whenever your mind starts to wander, you can write down the thought for later and get back to studying. This will psychologically reinforce your mind that it is not an unfinished task, but that it has been written down and saved for later.

7. Communicate With Those Around You

Most students live with roommates or their parents, and sometimes a spouse, significant other, or children and pets. If this is the case, make sure that you discuss some means of communicating when you are studying so that no one interferes. Having specific times or a sign on your door will often indicate to roommates not to bother you unless it is an emergency.

8. Only Answer Emergency Calls

If someone calls you while you are studying, make sure that you first determine if it is an emergency. If it's not, then inform them that you are studying and they can either tell you very quickly, or you can call them back. And yes this part of budgeting for college is probably the most difficult but it's all part of the discpline that it takes to do well.

They will understand. Text messages can be a distraction and while they might only take ten seconds of your time, the anxiety of waiting for a response will distract you from studying whether you realize it or not and sometimes it is best to leave your phone in the other room, or turn it off.

Budgeting for college might not be on your priority list but it should be because it will change how you study and your ability to focus on what really matters. Start following each of the steps that I outlined and pretty soon budgeting for college will become second nature.

By Guest Writer Lacey J.

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