Navigating Off-Campus Spending by Budgeting

(For those of us who need to get back on track after spring break!)

As I have transitioned from the dorm rooms of Oxford College to off-campus living in Decatur, I have come to encounter some unique challenges that arise with off-campus living. Consideration of personal finances has become more of a daily event instead of a weekend occurrence. Questions such as:

  • How much am I paying for groceries?
  • When is rent due?
  • What is my budget for eating out this weekend?

Move to the forefront where they were once far less important.  

Perhaps most importantly, I have found a growing need to develop a comprehensive budget. While this may seem trivial, understanding how much money I am spending relative to how much money I am making has allowed me to take great comfort in my financial decisions. That is, with a certain amount of money allotted to groceries, rent, utilities, and other responsibilities, I have found myself increasingly able to make the right decisions when it comes to going out to eat with friends or seeing a movie on the weekend.

What is most important is that the questions above be answered one way or another. Thus preventing seemingly insignificant financial decisions from assuming long-term impacts. We are all well aware of the feeling that comes with examining our bank account and realizing that we have been far too careless over the past few days…or weeks. The mere construction of some sort of plan has held me accountable and, as it is more integrated into my routine, it becomes somewhat of a second nature. As we continue to deal with the stresses that come with learning during a pandemic, I urge all of my peers to diminish some financial stress by creating a comprehensive budget. 

Here are some tools that might help you create your spending plan:

And the best tools of all, your Emory Financial Literacy Peer Mentors.

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