YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Inflation is impacting everyone economically, especially college students and young adults.

Deciding what is necessary to spend your money on can be a difficult decision. The difference between what we need and what we want can sometimes be overlooked.

Many college students are at the stage in their lives where they are learning to budget their finances for the first time.

YSU finance professor and planner Peter Chen said that in a time where almost everything is more expensive due to inflation, budgeting as a young adult is even more critical than before.

“Everyone should have a budget and everyone should have a goal to save a certain percentage of that money,” Chen said.

He said making an excel sheet is a great way to track your spending.

“Invest in yourself. Invest in productive assets. That’s the best thing to do to help you from inflation,” Chen said.

Focusing on human capital, or the skills and knowledge a person has, are crucial. This means focusing on maintaining a strong GPA, getting a good internship and preparing yourself for the real world. Chen explains this is the best way to set yourself up for financial success.

“Managing your money can be a difficult task, but I learn making note of your daily expenses is a way you can see where you might be spending unnecessary money,” he said. “A lot of times people spend here and there small things like Chipotle and Starbucks. They don’t realize how much money they have already spent. They don’t realize until the end of the month they say, ‘Wow, I spent so much.'” Chen said.

Packing your lunch, carpooling with friends and limiting the times you eat out are some ways to save money.

Chen says if you have any financial questions, reach out to a professor, financial planner or self-educate.