17 Aug Simple Money Tips for College Students
Knowing the best way to handle your money can be a challenge. There are multiple ways to manage your money, and it can be difficult knowing which strategy works best for you. Students in college are faced with many financial challenges. Getting control of your finances early and understanding healthy spending habits will ensure successful money management in the future.
Following these simple tips can give you a head start on finding the best way to manage your money:
Make a plan and set goals
Writing down a few financial goals and making a plan on how to achieve them is a great first step in money management. It allows you to have an idea of where you want to be financially in the coming months/years and serves as motivation to be wise with your spending habits. College students should make simple, monetary goals to reach graduation.
Planning out monthly costs such as rent, food, and your phone bill will bring awareness to the amount of money you are able to spend. When you know how much you are able to spend, you can start making small goals; such as eating out 3 days a week instead of 4. From your small goal, you can make a plan; like making larger portion meals to have left overs. As you become more comfortable the goals will become bigger, and the planning will become easier.
Pay off any debt
Paying off debt is one of the smartest things to do with your money. For college students, student loans are a daunting expense. Make sure you understand your loan and how you can make payments. If and when possible, pay more than the monthly requirement. This will decrease the amount of interest on your loan, and will ultimately leave you with a smaller debt.
Credit cards are the biggest accumulation of debt because they are so convenient. If you want to build up your credit score, they can be great to use daily (as long as you pay them off quickly). For college students, credit cards should be used for emergencies; such as car repairs or unexpected medical expenses. Avoid applying for a monthly credit limit you cannot comfortably afford.
Be aware of your spending habits
It is dangerous to be blind to your spending habits. If you are aware of how often you spend, you will be less likely to fall into debt. Part of being aware of your spending habits is seeing where you can cut costs. Maybe you don’t need to buy lunch every day or purchase new clothes on a weekly basis. It is important to know where your money is going, and to understand the difference between needs and wants.
If you’re interested in how Bank of the Lowcountry can help you save money while attending college, contact us, we’d love to help! We offer online banking and you can download our mobile app to keep an eye on your finances.