College Life: A Study Guide For Your Personal Finances

Student Money Tips

Piggy bank with glasses on in a classroom setting

Some of the most important lessons you’ll learn in college won’t be taught in a classroom. Your ability to master the pressures of the adult world will determine, in large part, how well you live.

To help prepare you for those life tests you can start to put these simple habits into your daily routine. Your future self will thank you.

1.) Saving papers

Many young people graduate from college without knowing how much they owe. Of course, they get statements every semester to tell them the loan amount, the interest rate and other important information. It probably gets put where every other important college-related document gets stashed, which means it’s going to get lost in a dorm room or backpack.

Get in the habit of managing important documents and develop a system to keep track of them. It will not only help you stay afloat in college, it’ll also be a useful practice for your tax documents, apartment leases and so on. Developing an organizational system to keep track of vital paperwork will help you keep on top of nearly every aspect of your adult life.

2.) Valuing your health

Some medical emergencies can’t be avoided. No matter how careful you are, you’re going to get the flu at some point in your life. However, there are a number of strategies you can follow to make your health a priority. Eating a well-balanced diet (That means things other than instant noodles and pizza!), exercising and practicing personal hygiene can all help cut down on class time and work hours missed due to illness.

3.) Refund checks aren’t free money

Debt is a fact of life for many college students. Beyond tuition, many students use student loans to pay for basic living expenses. The problem is, that money usually comes in the form of one giant refund check at the beginning of the semester. When that check comes, it’s easy to see it in terms of electronics, concert tickets and parties. When that money runs out, you have to finance your life on expensive credit cards, compounding an already-serious debt problem.

The solution? You need a budget! That means holding off on major purchases until you get an actual windfall, like a paycheck bonus or a birthday present. If there’s money left over at the end of the semester, use it to start paying down those loans instead of buying fancy gadgets. This will make the end-of-college debt load a little more manageable.




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