How to Manage Your Finances When You Are in College
BY SIMON REED
Something every college student understands, and something new college students learn really quick, is that money is always going to be tight during college – and there isn’t a ton of opportunity to make a mountain of cash while you are busy studying for your future and career, either.
This is why learning how to manage your finances when you are in college is mission critical. The better you are at working with your current cash flow, the better off you are going to be, and the more relaxed you are going to end up while your fellow college students are cashing in discarded beer cans for a little bit of extra dough.
To help you get a firm handle on your finances throughout college we’ve put together this quick list of tips and tricks. It will definitely help you hit the ground running!
Build Your Budget
The very first thing you have to do as a college student serious about your finances is understand exactly what your cash flow situation is right now and what your budget needs to look like.
The only things in life that get improved are the things that are constantly tracked and measured. If you don’t know how much money you have coming in, how much money you have going out, and where your money is coming from and where it is headed you’ll never be able to get a handle on your finances.
Building a budget isn’t one of the most exciting thrills you’ll have in college, but it’s going to make all those fun times possible. The budget helps you eliminate one of the biggest stress factors in college, and you’ll always be able to adjust on the fly as your incoming cash increases or your expenses decrease.
Take Advantage of Online Financial Services
Money management applications like Mint and budget building solutions like You Need a Budget are just some of the top-tier online financial services you can use to help manage your finances as a college student.
Again, balancing a checkbook, reconciling your accounts, and digging into the nitty-gritty of your financial situation isn’t going to be all that attractive a way to spend a Friday night at school – especially when stacked up against all your other options.
By using these online financial services, applications, and software solutions you can automate the majority of your financial heavy lifting without missing out on any of the benefits that closely tracking your money has to offer.
Cut Down on Student Debt ASAP
Student debt is a major problem these days, not because the value education has dropped off a cliff (an education is more valuable today than ever before) but because students are so ill-prepared to move forward with their lives after school with these massive debts hanging around their shoulders.
Managing and mitigating student debt is a big piece of the puzzle.
Make sure that your spending your financial aid correctly, investing it in your college courses as opposed to springing for pizza or buying a brand-new smart phone like the iPhone Xs Max and an expensive iPhone Xs Max case to go along with it. Borrow only as much money as you actually need to meet your financial obligations, too.
Do your level best to increase your income as much as possible as a college student without compromising your education. Jobs around school, profitable hobbies, and other positions give you a chance to make a little bit of extra cash that can be used to pay down your loan before interest rates kick in.
Lastly, you’ll want to push as much money to pay down the principle of your loan as possible ahead of those interest rates as we highlighted just a moment ago. Use any extra cash you’re able to put together towards these principles in you’ll end up saving thousands and thousands of dollars over the life of these loans that you would have had to cough up otherwise.
With this kind of laser focus on your finances you’ll have no trouble whatsoever navigating college life without the stress and pressure that those in financial disarray have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. These tips and tricks are going to help you knock your money management during college right out of the park!
Byline: Simon Reed is Director of Public Relations at Excelcapmanagement.com. We’re a US based firm following the different trends of finance and business and constantly look for new things on the market.