Being a student is an exciting time in your life when you are young, and a bright future is ahead of you. It’s the time when you can focus primarily on your studies. Of course, the amount of writing coursework you have to complete may be overwhelming, but you can find experienced tutors on a fabulous essay writing service and have time for fun.
College years are also a great time for learning to manage your money in a smart way and managing your personal finances should be a priority for you. It’s important to establish good financial habits and learn to make smart choices about your money. In this way, you’ll be able to set up a strong financial foundation for the future.
Here are some easy tips for mastering money management that can help you develop the smart money habits and build wealth over the course of your lifetime.
Create a Budget
It’s the first thing that you should do. You should make a list of monthly income sources, including money you get from parents, income from a job, savings, and money coming from grants and student loans, etc. Then you should categorize estimated expenses for a month in advance to understand where your money is going. When making a list of college living expenses, you should take into account such costs as textbooks and school supplies, laundry and personal care items, food and eating out, socializing, going to the movies, etc.
You can use spreadsheet templates or online budgeting tools to create a budget, track your expenses, and get insight where you need to cut back. Manage your budget and try to stick to it.
Minimize Student Debt
According to statistics, about 41% of millennials have student loan debt, so they often have to delay buying homes and getting married. That’s why you should be proactive and don’t take more student loans than you need so that you could have freedom in your future job choices. Borrow as much as you require for your education and don’t take cash to fund an extravagant lifestyle because you’ll have serious problems later. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay back all the money you borrow and the interest rates. You’d better choose subsidized federal student loans that are interest-free while you study at college so they will cost you less money in the long run.
You should use student loan wisely for the right things – tuition, housing, books but not on new clothes or social outings. Learn to live frugally and try to spend less than you earn.
Look for Student Discounts and Find Fun for Free
Do you know that your student status can save you money? Many businesses near college campuses offer student discounts so you should look for such services, restaurants, local venues. You can really save a large amount of money during the school year if you find great deals.
It’s so tempting to plan social activities that cost money and go out to eat. But there are a lot of exciting things in life that can cost you nothing. You only need to get creative and think about options of at-home entertainment. There are also free or low-cost social activities, for example, school-sponsored adventure trips, city-sponsored events or outdoor concerts. It is possible to live on a budget and have fun.
Avoid Full-Price Textbooks
Textbooks cost a lot of money and are one of the biggest college expenses. There is no need to buy brand new editions of textbooks. You’d better stay away from the campus bookstore which is the most expensive place to buy books. You can borrow books for free from the library or look for textbooks in used bookstores. The good idea is to purchase books online on eBay or Amazon and sell them back at the end of the semester advertising them on social media websites. You can also take advantage of eBooks offering because they are less expensive.
Find a Job
Find a part-time job to earn some extra cash and fund your social life, save something for books and supplies or even pay off student loan interest while you are at college. You should look for flexible work-study positions. There are plenty of on-campus jobs with limited interactions/responsibilities that will allow you to make money and stay productive, having enough time to do your homework. Such jobs won’t be a burden to your schoolwork. Freelance can also be a good option to make some money on the side.
College can be expensive, but if you develop smart budgeting and spending habits, you will feel more confident when making financial decisions and will graduate without massive debt. Follow these effective money tips, and you will be able to make it through college without making too many financial mistakes.