From the moment my husband and I got married we were living the college student life on a budget. You see, he started school in another state a month before we got married and we were all for taking new adventures. We had plenty of ups and downs financially, but we survived! I can’t toot that we got out of school debt free, but we did our best to take minimal student loans along the way. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.
Here are 3 tips we learned while being a student family on a budget:
Set A Budget and Stick to It
One of the most important things for us to do was to set a budget and stick to it! AND we had to decide together on the budget. If I did all the planning, then my hubby was in the dark and did not know what he was supposed to stick to, which would cause major contention. It was a tight budget with lofty goals, but we learned to go without. For instance, sometimes the budget only allowed $25 a month for date nights, which was a stretch for us, but we felt date nights were important even if they were small. We also spent minimal on clothes, with only one or two pairs of pants per person and one pair of shoes, which saved a ton in our budget if we didn’t have to buy clothing.
One thing I had to keep reminding myself through our student years (and still do) is, “you never know how in debt someone else is.” So, even though it seems like someone is doing better off, they might be in more debt than you and choosing to live a different lifestyle. Remember it and repeat as necessary. It helps during those wishful thinking times!
Take Advantage of Free Resources
You can never learn too much in my opinion and it is always a great idea to check out free financial resources like the SunTrust Bank’s Resource Center where you can find financial calculator’s, tips and plenty of interesting article and podcasts. Next to listen to on my list is their podcast titled, “How To Become Financially Fit”.
Other free resources that are great to take advantage of are Hand-me-downs for the kiddos, free activities on campus=great date nights, and coupons for foods at your local food store.
Just because we were on a budget did not mean we could not build our credit. For the most part, while we were in school we lived in student housing and rented. Our goal was to get into a house after my husband graduated and in order to get into a house, we needed to have good credit. I had really good credit, but what we found out a few years into our marriage is that my husband’s credit needed work. It was not bad, but it was not as great as we hoped.
When we got married my husband received his first credit card, or so we thought. We added him onto my card and got a card in his name. The mistake we made was assuming that having that card would build his credit. Luckily, we found out in enough time to help us that he needed to have his own card in his own name/under his account to build his credit. We then put away my card I had been using for years to help make sure we did not spend too much. By the time he graduated, we both had awesome credit which later helped us get a great loan to buy a house.
What are your budget survival tips?
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on what matters most to you.
To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.