By Jane Hurst
When you get out on your own for the first time, everything can be pretty overwhelming, including paying your bills. After all, you have a bit of money from student loans, part time jobs, etc., and you may feel the urge to blow it on unnecessary things. It is important that you learn how to manage your money, so you have enough to live on from month to month without having to hit your parents up every couple of weeks. Here are some money management tips you can start using now.
Ø Set Up a Budget – The first thing you need to do is create a budget. When you have a budget, you can see where your money needs to go, and you will know how much you have left over at the end of the month for frivolous things. It is actually a good idea to learn how to create a budget as soon as you get your first job. That way, you will be ready when it comes time to head off to college. You may not always stick to your budget, but once you have something in place, it will be easier than having to worry if you are going to have enough to pay the bills every month.
Ø Protect Your Information – These days, there are all too many people who are just waiting to steal your personal information. Often, it is students who get hit the hardest, and they are at the highest risk for identity theft. It can take months to detect fraud, and by that time, you are out of money and often out of luck. It is also a good idea to learn how to detect counterfeit money. It is easy to do, and it will protect you from ending up with money that is no good, or getting into trouble for passing off counterfeit money, albeit unknowingly.
Ø Go Online – There are loads of online services that will help to make money management a whole lot easier for you. You likely always have your mobile phone with you anyway, so you may as well take advantage of some these apps, such as Mint. You can upload your bank account and expenses, and be able to manage all of your finances in one convenient place. If you are too busy to sit down and look at your budget, you can still be sure that you aren’t going to have a lot of missed payments, and additional charges for missing those payments.
Ø Take Advantage of Student Discounts – Many companies offer discounts to students, and you should take advantage of as many of these discounts as possible. You can get discounts at many local venues, venders, restaurants, and services that are near your campus, and of course, discounts online as well. In addition to getting the best deals, you will also learn all about the value of bargain hunting to get the lowest prices and save money.
Ø Be Careful with Credit Cards – Often, this is the first time anyone has a credit card, and the temptation to use it for just about everything is too much for many people. Credit card companies are looking for people who do just that, because they will rack up charges, and end up having to pay the credit card companies ridiculous amounts of interest. Don’t be fooled by the special offers, such as promises of freebies if you sign up for a card. In fact, it may be best if you don’t bother getting a credit card at all, just to be on the safe side.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot.