Second. Semester. Senior.  The three words that make me cringe. As a second semester senior, I have faced several struggles throughout my college career, and often ponder what my next step will be after graduation; but as a second semester senior I have also gained valuable skills that I hope will help me survive in the real world.

While I hope to land a great job after college and stay in Boston, in reality reaching that goal is much harder than it appears. Thankfully, if college has taught me anything (and it has), it has definitely taught me how to plan for unforeseen expenses!

Although many students may pay no mind to the unexpected costs of transportation, laundry, and books, all these unanticipated features of college life do add up! In my personal struggle to manage such costs I have learned to live on a budget, which often means saying no to those pretty pair of shoes in the window =(.

Even though living on a budget isn’t the most appealing thing in the world, it’s actually quite simple!

Step 1: Note your source and amount of income on a weekly and/or monthly basis.

Step 2: Note your weekly or monthly expenses.

Step 3: If your expenses surpass your earned income, consider finding an additional source of revenue, i.e. a second, part-time job or perhaps a scholarship or fellowship etc.

Step 4: As tempting as it may be to spend any leftover income, don’t! Set it aside for a rainy day!

Step 5: Finally, when you have established a good saving record, then treat yourself. But the key is to treat yourself to something small!

And so while budgeting is not the most exciting way to enjoy college, and has in the past limited the activities I could do with my friends, it is hands down the smartest way to survive in college! Thanks to the budgeting skills I have gained throughout my college career, I know that I will at least be better prepared to enter the real world, and hopefully enjoy a smooth transition from college life to adult life!