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Budgeting With Brighton Jones

This past Thursday we had the opportunity to host Brighton Jones for a speaker event on budgeting. Jordan Graham and Katy Valencia came in to give a talk on budgeting and money management for college students. Here are some of the key tips they shared for building your financial wellbeing.

Track Your Spending

The first step to budgeting is to know exactly where your money is going. Using a spreadsheet or budgeting app (Mint by Intuit is a great option) to track all of your income and expenses makes it easy to do this. This will show you where you might be spending more money than you think on unnecessary purchases. Knowing exactly what, where, and how you spend empowers you to make changes.

Identify Needs vs. Wants

When tracking your spending, categorize each expense as either a "need" or a "want." Needs are essential expenses like tuition, rent, and groceries. Wants are optional expenses like entertainment, clothes, or dining out. Minimizing wants and focusing spending on needs is key to budgeting.

Pay Yourself First

It’s a good practice to "pay yourself first" by setting aside savings each month before spending on anything else. Even if you can only save $20 or $50 per month, get in the habit early. Having savings gives you financial security and options. Before buying any wants, be sure to save something.

Budgeting is an ongoing process. Don't be discouraged if it takes a few months to get it right. The important thing is to keep adjusting and improving your budget. With these tips, students can take control of their finances and build sound money management skills for life.

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