Financial Tips for College Students
According to a survey, about 64% of college students have run short of money typically because of unexpected expenses. In fact, managing money and budgeting may be tough to master for many students who are away from home for the first time.
College living is a challenging undertaking for the majority of students so it’s important to learn how to manage money to the college experience which is rather expensive and can become even pricier with poor spending practices.
Here are money management tips from experts of an educational portal who help students write coursework and know very well what it means to live on a limited student budget because once, they were students themselves. Keep reading to learn about smart spending strategies that will help you handle your finances and get the most of your college experience.
Be realistic with loans
Most of the college students need financial aid to pay for their education so you should know financial aid options available to youand make the most of them. You can get university-specific scholarships and may qualify for other funding thanks to your major, your hobbies etc. You should research your financial aid optionssuch as state tuition assistance programs, federal and private loans and learn about the terms of payments to ensure that you fully understand what you are getting yourself into.
Experts recommend that you should not borrow more money than you expect to earn in your first year out of college. So you should borrow the bare minimum that will be enough to cover your textbooks and tuition but not your new clothes or social outings.
Create a budget
Budgeting during college is easy because you don’t have many expenses or a large income to keep in mind. So you should record what you earn each month and don’t spend more than that. Of course, there is no need to track every dollar but you should have a basic idea about the money you earn and spend each month.
You should make a list of your fixed expenses, for example, food, utilities, car payments, tuition, rent, books. Next, make a list of your optional expenses such as entertainment and clothes.
You should learn to live within your means to avoid going into debt. College students typically make little money so you should be prepared to make some sacrifices. Don’t spend more than it is necessary for your survival.
Be careful with credit cards
You’d better use cash instead of debit or credit cards because according to studies, that results in spending 30% less money on different purchases. Experts say that cash creates a sense of loss so you will be more thoughtful about spending your money. Credit cards don’t create such a feeling.
Of course, using credit cards can be necessary at times but try to limit them to emergencies and repay every month. If you decide you need a credit card, never sign up for a student credit card on a whim or accept the first offer that comes in your mail. Do your research and choose a credit card company that offers lower interest rates.
Look for student discounts
Get a student ID card that will give you access to possible discounts at local attractions, theaters, vendors, services near college campuses, and restaurants. They can save you big money. Before you make a decision on major purchases, for example, a laptop, ask your retailer about student discounts.
College is expensive but you should be financially responsible and keep these costs at the lowest level.You should learn to enjoy simple things in life and do your best to lay a foundation for a secure financial future.