While most students go to college to help ensure that they will get a good job after they have graduated, many do not consider how choices they make when they are in college will affect their future finances. There are several tips that all students should follow, which will help to ensure that they are financially responsible and leave school in the best financial condition possible.
1. Set a Budget
Most students, and young adults, neglect the importance of establishing a budget. To avoid going further into debt, all students should set a personal budget to stick to going forward.
2. Eat at Home
Many students spend a lot of their money eating out with their friends. While it can be a fun treat, it can end up being very expensive and very unhealthy.
3. Have Fun on the Cheap
Going to expensive parties and bars can be a temptation for students. While doing this is OK once in awhile, students should look to see what cheaper entertainment options are being provided by their schools, which could help to save money.
4. Always Pay Your Bills on Time
Students waste millions of dollars each year on late fees and penalties. Through the use of online bill pay tools and other bill pay services, a student can be assured that they will pay their bills on time.
5. Avoid Credit Cards
Since most students do not have much savings or income, using credit cards is a necessity at times. While they are important to have access to, credit cards should be limited to emergencies and should always be repaid each month.
6. Get a Job
While going to school full-time is a lot of work, most students have some time to work each week. Even working 10 hours per week could add up to a considerable amount of extra money each year, which could help to offset debt or start saving.
7. Don't Spend a Fortune on Housing
Next to tuition, housing is the biggest expense that a student has each year. While it may be more comfortable to live in an off campus apartment, these cost thousands of dollars extra every year, which can lead to an accumulation of debt.
8. Plan for the Future
While most people start saving for long-term goals when they start working, there is no reason to wait that long if you have some extra money. By putting some money into savings or an IRA while you are in school, you could give your long-term financial goals a strong start.
9. Get Scholarships If You Can
While they are competitive to get, most students are giving up on the chance by getting some extra money because they do not spend the time to apply for available scholarships. Make sure that you also complete the FAFSA so that you can see if you qualify for Federal financial aid.
10. Graduate on Time
Many students today end up taking too small of a course load while they are in school, which may require them to be in school for an additional semester or too. This could end up wasting tens of thousands of dollars.
In conclusion, most students that are in college spend very little time considering how the choices they make will impact their future financial lives. There are ten tips that all students should follow, which will ensure that they are financially responsible while they are in school.
What other tips do you have?