11 Sep How Your Finances Affect Your College Career
College students are most concerned about how student loans will impact their future, and rightfully so: this enormous burden can weigh you down for years to come. In 2016, students graduated with $37,000 of debt. To help minimize the loans you must take out, research scholarship options and make sure that your chosen major has a reasonable chance of paying off your debt. However, student loans aren’t the only financial difficulty you’ll encounter as a student. Accruing debt, spending your entire paycheck, damaging your credit score, and choice of living arrangements can influence your life during and after college.
Falling into debt
For what is likely the first time in your life, you’re regularly paying for rent, utilities, groceries, and everything in between. As you’re struggling to afford car payments, insurance, and all of your other expenses, credit cards can seem like a quick fix to your financial woes. On average, students entering their senior year owe $4,100 of credit card debt. To add to the burden of credit card debt, many students take out loans for expenses that stretch beyond their education and into spring break vacations or a new car.
After graduation, living expenses will only increase as you take on more responsibility and rely less on your parents. If you live paycheck-to-paycheck during college, then you risk continuing this lifestyle long after you receive your diploma. To help prepare for emergencies and your life after graduation, cut back on unnecessary spending and put the money you’ve saved into a bank account to start earning interest.
Although it’s easy to let a utility bill or credit card statement slip by, late payments damage your credit card score. Budget your monthly expenses and pay your bills on time. A water bill isn’t worth lowering your credit score. Avoiding late fees will not only save you money but also help you develop good financial habits for your future endeavors. Whenever possible, pay off credit card bills before they’re due to earn a winning credit score.
Refusing to live at home
If your university is reasonably close to your home, forgo dorm life or an apartment in favor of living with your parents while you attend college. Even after graduation, the rising cost of housing has forced many millennials to return home for a few years. But just because you share the same address as mom and dad doesn’t automatically make you a deadbeat– you shouldn’t feel ashamed if you are holding a job, paying rent and utilities to your parents, and becoming financially stable. Although moving back home isn’t the right decision for everyone, don’t hesitate to explore it as an option for saving thousands of dollars.
Open a savings account with the Bank of the Lowcountry today to start earning interest and save for your financial goals. Get in touch with us at (843) 549-2265.