Manage Your Money With These 5 Tips
5 Tips on How to Manage Your Money As You Enter College
The day you dreamed about has finally arrived. You’ve left the comfortable nest and are about to enter college. Hold on though, because unless mom and dad have very deep pockets, you’re going to have to learn how to manage your money. In addition to that, you’ll learn about credit scores, and hopefully how to create a financial plan that will see you through those tough college years.
Starting college, you’ll have more control in the decision making for your life; however, there is one very basic concept that you need to master. Even if your parents are financing your education, you need to learn how to manage your money effectively.
Many of the habits, good and bad, that you learn in college about money and finance, will be with you for many years to come. Statistics reveal that the average four year college student graduates with credit card debt of $4,000.00 plus student loans totaling $30,000.00. Financial experts say that every college student should formulate an easy plan in order to take control of their saving and spending. The following tips can help you learn how to manage your money as you make this plan.
1. Create a budget
It really doesn’t matter how small your budget is, you need to establish one and follow it. Your income for your budget will probably come from your parents, your part time work if possible, and financial aid.
Even starting out with a very small budget, set up a savings plan for future spending. Establish a time to review your budget on a weekly basis, so that it doesn’t get out of control.
2. Set priorities
This is the best time to decide what is most important to you and also what you are able to do without. There are many, many temptations in college that can blow your budget very quickly, so you must exercise restraint. Don’t make the budget overly restrictive, however, because then you will not be able to stick with it.[bctt tweet=”Here’s five good tips for those entering or preparing to enter college…” username=”HBSMoneyTips”]
3. Open a credit card in your name
Some financial gurus hesitate to recommend this because of the temptation to over spend. But, you need to establish your own credit rating, so use it for small purchases. A good credit score is also very important for you to have when you graduate from college. Scores go from 300 to 850, and the higher your score, the better interest rates and terms that you will receive. There is no need to open more than one credit card, so don’t be tempted by the many offers that you will receive. Also, be sure to pay your credit cards in full each month and on time as you learn how to manage your money wisely.
4. Watch your ATM usage
You’ll find an ATM machine practically on every street corner and in grocery and department stores, so don’t let that tempt you to get more cash. Those machines can really take a toll on your budget, especially when you’re spending the cash and you lose track of where the money went. You’ll know just how much cash you need by the terms of your budget, so don’t overdo it. Learn to manage your money carefully.
5. Purchase used textbooks
We all are very aware of the high cost of new textbooks. You will be able to buy used textbooks from students who have taken your classes. There are a number of outlets on the internet that sell used textbooks, just make sure that it’s the same one required in your class. Some times you’ll find a store near the college where you’ll be able to find the books that you need as well.
These tips are just a few of many that will show you how to manage your money and live within a budget. Graduating with good grades is very important and so is getting a high credit score.