Money Management for College Students
The choices you make during your college years will help determine the course of your entire life. The major you study, the friends you make, and the career you pursue are all good examples of this, as are the habits you develop.
Managing your money wisely now will allow you to focus on classes, friends, and your future rather than worrying about dollars and cents. And it will also set you on the right track for the rest of your life, giving you a responsible pattern to follow.
Read on to discover 5 money management strategies for college students!
- 1. Loans Are A Last Resort. As we have mentioned before, a college education is almost always a smart financial investment, even if costly tuition fees are your only option. However, though student loans are justifiable, you are still better off avoiding them whenever possible. If, through any combination of family help, part‐time work, grants, payment plans, etc, you can cover the cost without a loan (or at least take a smaller loan) then you should consider that course of action. This could mean forgoing a car, or living with mom and dad for freshman year ‐‐ but the financial freedom that these choices will bring you is well worth the sacrifice.
- 2. Track Expenses Meticulously. It's tedious and sometimes psychologically painful. But taking a long hard look at your financial choices will help you identify unnecessary expenses and make better decisions in the future. So make a budget, write down expenditures, and keep your bank statements.
- 3. Beware of Secondary School Expenses. Textbooks, dorm rooms, and meal plans can add up to cost almost as much as your tuition itself. You should plan for this carefully when budgeting for college. And you should be aware that off‐campus living and/or bringing your own food is oftentimes more economical. Last but not least, buying your textbooks online rather than through the campus bookstore will often times save you a pretty penny.
- 4. Use your Student Discount. The only thing more incredible than the number of businesses that offer student discounts? The number of students who don't take advantage of these easy savings!
- 5. Build Credit...Carefully. Buying a home, attending grad school, or even getting a car may all require loans ‐‐ and loans require good credit. Using a credit card for your college expenses can help you build the credit you need, but you should also understand that students are especially susceptible to falling into credit card debt. Moderate and responsible credit card use is the way to go.
Discover more useful tips for students and graduates of all ages at the Madison Monroe and Associates Blog!