As you move on to college and start budgeting money for yourself you may find yourself struggling.
As young adult you may find it intimidating to try to manage your money but the worst thing you can do is to bury your head and assume things will work out.
Instead, you need to proactively look at your income (whether money from parents, loans or a part-time job) and come up with a plan to make it cover your needs.
Let’s have a look on top five financial tips.
Create a Budget.
You are best to create both a monthly budget as well as a budget for the semester. Map out your basic costs from things like food and rent to what your best estimate for books and other school supplies will be. These core items must be accounted for and you should add 10% to this number in order to leave yourself room for errors in calculations or unknown items that may come up.
Stay Away from Credit Card Offers.
When you get to school you may find yourself inundated with credit card offers. Credit card companies may provide incentives to sign like shirts or gift certificates. While it may be tempting to apply, get the “free” item, and start using your credit card, this debt you incur can add up fast and hamstring you in the future. You are better offer avoiding credit cards altogether but if you are strapped for cash and need to utilize credit, you should only do the bare minimum.
As a college student you may qualify for a host of discounts you never knew existed. Whether it is at the movie theatre, with airline carriers or even at the local restaurants around your college, look online and in the student paper to see which group offers a discount to local college students. You will be pleasantly surprised how many businesses are vying for you to spend money with them.
You walk into the bookstore and there are the clean, shiny textbooks on the top shelves and just below that you will likely see used books. Guess what? These used books contain the exact same information and could be as much as 50% less. Moreover, when you get the required text books for your classes, you may be able to find even steeper discounts online. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying used textbooks and in fact it may be the single most significant way an enrolled student can save on the actual cost of attending school.
A large percentage of students take out both private and public loans. The best practice, however, is take out the bare minimum amount needed to get through school. You should never take out loans for luxury or even discretionary purposes. While everyone deserves to blow off some steam and have fun or purchase a non-necessity, it is critical that the decision to buy a new pair jeans doesn’t cost you thousands of dollars in interest.
College is an exciting time and you will grow in a host of ways you cannot expect. Part of the growth and learning should also include smart use of your money- where you control it and it doesn’t control you.