If you are about to leave for college, it is understandable that there’s a lot of excitement in your life right now. However, you have to prepare yourself for the realities of college life, some of which are not pleasant. The most important of these realities is how to manage your finances. You now have the freedom you always craved, but without proper money management skills, you will have a horrible time in college. This article offers crucial financial tips to use in college and you can find more from Dissertationteam.com.
1. Make a Budget
Budgeting is at the core of financial management and when in college, this will come in handy. When creating a budget, you must prioritize your spending and only use the money for the essential things. Your budget should include all sources of income, expected monthly spending and any other expenses.
2. Track your Spending
A good budget can only work if you stick to it and the best way to do this is by tracking your expenses. You can use a personal finance management tool or record all your expenses in a book. Every month, take time to compare your projected budget and the actual expenses. Make adjustments to your budget where necessary or identify ways to cut expenses.
3. Buy Or Rent Used Textbooks
Textbooks are the budget-breaker of college students and you need to find a way to cut on these costs. Buying used textbooks or renting, is cheaper than buying new books and will save you a lot of money.
4. Look For Student Discounts
Cash flow in college is a big problem and you have to learn to live within your means. You should always look for student discounts when shopping and use your card to save money. From restaurants, bookshops to public transport, it is possible to find student discounts deals to make life more affordable in college.
5. Reduce Student Loans
Student loans are a godsend but you have to remember you have to repay them. Where possible, you should minimize student debt by finding work, borrowing only what you need and funneling any extra income into student loan repayments.
Image 1: Students in college can avoid the debt trap by finding work
Student debt is a big problem in the U.S and you don’t want to join the statistics. Asmany as 44.7 million Americans have student loan debt, according to a 2018 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
6. Use your credit card carefully
Credit cards are a lifesaver for a student but it is easy to abuse them and fall into debt before you starting earning. The International Journal of Business and Social Science in 2012 said 70% of college students had at least one credit card. You should use your card to build your credit and not ruin your credit rating.
7. Lookout for Financial Fraud
You have to protect your personal information to avoid losing the little money you have. You should take care when transacting online to avoid losing crucial information, which can then lead to identity theft and fraud. Keep a close watch of your bank and credit accounts and report any suspicious activity.
8. Find something to save for
Set a savings goal by identifying something you wish to buy. You can save towards a car purchase, vacation, or any other goal and this will help you become financially responsible in college.
Ready for college? Make sure you follow these financial tips to enjoy college life.
Rachel Slifka is a freelance writer and human resources professional. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials find success with their finances and careers. Read more by checking out her website at RachelSlifka.com.