Personal finance tip – spend within your means



Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head

Finding yourself short on funds and asking others for money to help pay your bills is a position no one likes. Balancing your income can solve these issues.

Balancing income and expenses seems like a simple concept but being able to not spend more than you have may be hard to practice. With planning and tracking, you can spend within your means and be in a better financial situation when you graduate.

First, create a budget or a spending plan to compare your income and expenditures. If you know how much money you have coming in and what you are spending the money on, it will be easier to make necessary spending changes. To learn how to develop a budget read the SDSU Extension publication Budgeting (URL:

To adjust your spending, recognize your wants and needs. Understanding what expenses are necessary will help you determine where you can make spending changes. Your values reflect your wants and needs.

Take time to evaluate what is important to you. Then review your spending to determine what is necessary and what can be forgone. For more information about identifying wants and needs go to

Are your spending habits creating additional debt for you?

Debt can create stress and take years to pay off. While you are in college, keeping your debt to a manageable level is important. Don’t talk yourself into the belief that having debt now is O.K. because when you graduate you will be able to pay it off.

Debt costs money because of the interest that accrues. Living within or below your means can help to reduce debt and give you more money to spend in the future. If you are struggling to get control of your debt and spending, seek out qualified financial counseling.

When you are living with limited income, budgeting and tracking your spending will help you spend within your means. Using credit or borrowing money now can impact your finances once you graduate from college. For questions or free financial counseling and advice, contact me at [email protected]