Bank account running low?

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With only a little more than a month before finals week, thinking about your financial situation may be taking time away from studying.

Are your food and bank accounts running low?

Are you finding yourself not participating in social events because you are worried about stretching your money until the end of the semester? Now is the time to make a financial plan to get you through finals week.

Start by reviewing your financial situation and deciding whether you need to increase your income or decrease your expenses.

Take stock of how much you have by creating a budget. A budget can help you compare your income to expenses to determine how much of a gap you may have.

How large is the gap?

Can you stretch your funds until the end of the semester? What changes do you need to make now?

If you decide increasing your income is the best option, here are some ideas.

Clean out your closets and living space to sell your unused items. Local consignment shops will pay you on the spot for your items.

Consider online rummage sale sites that allow you to deliver your items. The Brookings Police Department has a secure exchange site that will provide a safe location.

Look for seasonal, flexible or part-time jobs on campus or in Brookings. Make sure you are able to work around your class schedule.

If you already have a job, find out if you can work a few extra hours each week to increase your paycheck.

Check out signs posted in The Union and other buildings on campus to find seasonal jobs.

Participate in contests or studies on campus that provide either a free meal or payment for participation.

Evaluate how you have been spending money throughout the semester. Review your bank transactions over the past few months and assess which expenses are necessary and which could be reduced.

You may need to cut back on a few purchases to stretch your funds. Consider ways to reduce your expenses.

For example, purchase food items in bulk at the grocery store instead of buying individual items at The Union or other food sites.

Share expenses with friends such as movie subscription services or other types of entertainment.

Keep in mind, the actions you choose need to be in line with your academic goals. Making a conscious decision now about how you will meet your financial needs and obligations will allow you to focus your energy on your academic success.

If you need advice on how to assess your financial situation or to develop a budget, contact me to set up an appointment.

Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head is the SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist and can be reached at lorna.woundedhead@sdstate.edu.

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