Hello business activists…
College is a difficult transitional period in life. At this time, students must be independent in most aspects in life, perhaps including financial one. However, college students tend to have limited ability to gain high and steady income due to their study. There are some financial tips for college students that can help them getting through this tough time in life. Without appropriate ways to navigate the financial aspect in college life, they will not be able to enjoy this life stage as it should be.
12 Most Important Financial Tips for College Students
Here are some of the most important tips to take care of student’s finance in college.
1. Budgeting for Essential Needs
The first task that student must do is creating a budget for essential needs. This includes meals, transportation cost, housing, study related expenses and others. Budget must be created based on how much one earns every single month. The planned spending should be made less than the regular income so that the margin of difference can be allocated for other things. It is important to be frugal when it comes to essential spending.
2. Keeping Track on Every Spending
One thing often forgotten among financial tips for college students is the importance of keeping track on every single spending. There are people who just throw away receipts right after purchases. If the payment is done with card or wired transfer, it does not matter. However, cash transaction may possess this challenge. One way to deal with it is writing the expense right after you do it on phone. There are several free apps available to keep up with such task.
3. Avoiding Loans as much as possible
If it is manageable, college student must avoid taking on loans. This is perhaps the most important thing in financial tips for college students list. After graduating college, many people must deal with the fact that they have to start paying off loans during their study. The process of paying off student debt may take years and it certainly gets in the way of having proper start in adult life. Thus, take loans just as you need it and try to find income somewhere else.
4. Spending Less on Housing
Many students are going to college with a dream of having their own private space and having the taste of adulthood. This motto often leads to overspending on housing. Some students prefer to stay in campus dormitory but in certain institutions, the waiting list is so long. There are also some restrictions when it comes to living on campus. It is possible to look for off campus accommodation but not paying as much, which is by sharing the rent fee with others.
5. Taking Part Time Gigs in Free Time
In the financial tips for college students list, getting an income is pivotal. Student can get part time gigs in their free time. It is great if you have skills in certain areas such as art, language, or even computer. Freelance gigs such as translating, coding, and art commissions can be taken once in awhile if student has free time. It is also possible to offer tutoring for high school students or even taking shifts at cafe or restaurant near the campus. The hour working should not interfere study time, though.
6. Using Only One Credit Card
Credit card is very important in this era, particularly for the ease of transaction. A point of financial tips for college students, however, is to maintain only one credit card at a time. When one relies on multiple credit cards at once, there is a very high tendency to overspend. It will lead to problems such as unresolved debts which cause devastating consequences to one’s life. The limit should be setup as low as possible and the card should be used responsibly.
7. Socializing and Treating Self Once in a while
Even if students need to be frugal during college period, they are totally encouraged to socialize and treat self once in a while. Socializing is important because it reduces stress and allows students to create network that may extend to professional life in later life stage. Meanwhile, treating oneself is a part of financial tips for college students because it prepares students to deal with lifestyle change when they have bigger income once entering the workforce.
8. Preparing Emergency Fund
Emergency fund for health and other unexpected expenses must be set aside per month. It is a part of budgeting that is often overlooked by students. This is included in the list of financial tips for college students because although students can cut fund from their planned budgets to deal with emergency situations, that will jeopardize the budgeting for months to come.
9. Creating a Separate Savings Account
When it comes to savings, one should set up a separate account that cannot be accessed no matter what the reason is (unless it is a force majeure event). Student must setup a target on how much to save up to certain period. It is also helpful to write down what to do with the savings as motivation.
10. Buying Used Textbooks
Textbook is a bane of students’ existence because they are essential but the price is way too high. One of financial tips for college students related to this matter is purchasing used textbooks. Used textbooks are a lot cheaper and equally as functional. If the class uses multiple textbooks, you will actually find luck in borrowing the books from library.
11. Making Use of Student’s Discounts
Another example of financial tips for college students is making use for discounts specialized for students. Cafes, restaurants, and even streaming service tend to have special price for students. To save up money and still enjoying life to the fullest, one should really ensure to use up this student privilege.
12. Thrift Shopping for Clothes and Furniture
To save money, students can also opt for thrift shopping particularly for clothes and furniture. There are many interesting secondhand shops, offline and online, that sell high quality used products for cheap price. After all, you only need things to be functional. For clothes, thrift shopping might be the chance for you to explore new fashion style in unique way.
Those are the most important financial tips for college students. By following the tips, students can make sure to spend money wisely, while not really leaving out the comfort and joy as college students.