Hello, college, hello, money worries!
College life brings a sense of independence that extends to personal finances. Being in charge of your own money can seem like an impossible challenge, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If the thought of managing your money in college is stressing you out, dig into these tips for some help!
Create a budget
Living with a budget is a must for good financial wellness. First, track your income, including all earnings from part-time jobs, scholarships and student loans. Next, list your expenses, including tuition fees, textbooks, rent, groceries, transportation and entertainment. Set a realistic spending amount for each category, and your budget is good to go! Review and adjust as necessary.
Minimize student loan debt
Student loans can be a big financial burden after graduation. To minimize your debt, explore options such as scholarships, grants and part-time jobs to cover educational expenses. You can also get ahead on your debt by saving for your student loan payments before you graduate.
You can have your fun while in college, and your budget, too! First, buy used when possible. This goes for textbooks, sports equipment and your college car. Next, consider pooling some of your expenses with roommates. For example, you can split the costs of food items, cleaning supplies and more. Finally, get used to eating in and save big. Remember, every dollar saved can go toward your future.
Prioritize essential expenses
Life while in college is filled with temptations and social activities, so it’s crucial to prioritize your expenses. First, make sure your tuition, rent, utilities and groceries are covered and then you can spend money on fun! Having a good budget developed, and a regular review of it, will help you plan in some of that fun.
Build your credit
College is a great time to get your credit score ready for adult life. A strong credit score is essential for qualifying for large loans, getting favorable interest rates, securing a job and more. To build credit responsibly, consider getting a secured credit card or becoming an authorized user on a family member’s credit card. Use the card sparingly and make full payments on time each month.
Take advantage of campus resources
College campuses often provide many resources to help students manage finances. Take advantage of financial literacy workshops, counseling services and career centers at your college.