This is a guest post by financial trainer Amy Harris.
Taking Control Of Your College Finances
It’s no big surprise that some young people heading off to college in pursuit of their masters in health administration or MBA degrees in international finance need a little extra help with how to handle money as a stepping stone to financial independence later on in life. But taking responsibility for your finances doesn’t have to be a chore. With just a little careful planning, your college years can be a good basis for how you plan your finances for the future, leaving you free to get on with your studies.
Four Easy Steps Towards Saving
Being a student often means that the social side of your life is a lot fuller than your High School years. There’s always somewhere to go, something to do – and it all costs money. Falling into the trap of spending over saving is common, but the following steps towards worry free finances could keep your head above water and your finances in the black.
1. View the Bigger Picture First
The bigger expenses need to be taken care of first. Keeping up with the terms of your lease will secure your accommodation, but don’t forget those utility bills. Allowing yourself a buffer for these regular bills is the first step towards managing your money and will save you money on penalties for any late payments.
2. Can You Afford Not to Work?
Study comes first at college, and that’s a given. But if you were to sit down and figure out how much time you need to spend on study, sleep and social activities, you could easily come up with a handful of hours every week that could be filled by taking a part-time job. Taking a job because you need the extra money, and taking a job for just pocket money are two different things, so figure out what’s right for you.
3. Use Cards With Caution
Not all debt is toxic, but bills you can’t pay or making late payments on things definitely adds up to toxic debt. You may really want those $100 shoes that are only $50 on sale, but have you really saved $50? Think about it. Unless you can actually see that $50, you haven’t saved it, but you have just racked up $50 on your credit card for something you just don’t need.
4. Do the Math on All the Small Stuff
Making savings on all of the financial output you have during college means that you can’t afford to lose track of where every nickel and dime is going. Keeping a record of your small expenses such as takeaway coffees, magazines, eating out and even cell phone charges can help you make easy savings during the college year. You may think you are only spending a week on beer and food, but looking at it written down might give you a jolt into cutting it back a little.
Love Your College Days
Your time at college is the time in your life when you start to learn about financial independence, as well as other things. Learning to handle money is just one of the life lessons you come away with, but learning from whatever mistakes you make along the way is just as important.
About The Author:
Amy Harris is a writer for Financial Training – which helps students worldwide find the right finance and business courses, such as CIMA courses and ACCA qualification courses. She enjoys assisting students in finding the right school and course.
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