Entering college is an exciting venture for many students. Entering a college or university after leaving high school is a big step and it is often the first time many young students venture out from the safety and warmth of their parents homes and taste the freedom of the real world. There are many different tasks that need to be juggled in order for a student’s college experience to be successful. Studying, attending classes, networking, maintaining finances are certain things that a college student must tackle.
College is also synonymous with young people assuming a greater responsibility for managing their own money away from the reliable security of parent’s wallet. With easy access to credit cards and so many things to spend money on, many students end up owing even more. One specific area where many college students have difficulty is learning to budget effectively. A little planning can make a big difference. College can be expensive, but learning the basics when it comes to money management means you don’t have to graduate with massive debt.
Here are some steps at how college students can more effectively manage their money while furthering their education.
Create a budget
Creating a budget is incredibly important. List monthly income sources, including wages and parental allowances, savings and then write down estimated expenses for the month. You should take costs such as school supplies, personal care items, food outside your meal plan and laundry into account. You can also try to manage your budget and track expenses using an online personal finance management tool which can help you to easily create and stick to a budget.
Pay on time and check your balance
Every student should make a habit of paying their bills on time to avoid wasting money on late fees. Sign up to save time and stamps if your bank offers online bill pay. You also need to keep up with your spending by checking your account balance on your pc or mobile device regularly. Look at the available balance regularly and subtract any checks you recently wrote to figure out how much money you have.
Use credit cards properly
College is a great time to start building credit which is crucial for purchasing a vehicle, leasing an apartment, and even landing a job post-graduation. But it’s very easy for many to amass a large amount of debt. It’s important to understand the difference between credit building and overextending.
Have knowledge on loans and financial aid
College graduates tend to have a difficult time balancing ever-growing student loan payments against declining wages. You should have a clear knowledge what the exact size of your student loan debt will be upon graduation. This will help you to come up with a plan for how you will pay it back.
Use your student discount
Find out if there’s a student discount before you buy something you need. You can search online for student discount and the item you want. By this you can save money on everything from movie tickets to a new computer. You can also save in buying textbooks by purchasing them online.