Being students we always dream of independent and secure life. However, to make it possible, we gotta be smart with financial management besides myriad other things, right?
While some students/ adults build financial literacy from their childhood, others tend to gulp its dynamics somewhat later in life. Financial skills make you confident and future-secure relatively. Also, your keen decisions aid you in building savings and maintaining a fair credit rating.
1/10 students default on a student loan in the United States
Strong personal finance know-how helps you be at the top of your money circumstances, you utilize credit wisely, and you are prevented from unplanned financial surprises. A good credit score presents you more reliable to financiers and promises better lending terms for the future.
Credit scores are issued by credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion
Credit scores typically range between 300 and 850. 670 and above is considered a good Equifax credit score.
Following personal finance tips would help you avoid challenging money choices in student life:
Best Personal Finance Tips for Students
- Avoid Needless Expenditures
- Set a Budget
- Save on Groceries
- Work Part-Time
- Emergency Budgeting
- Build Credit Score
- Economical Entertainment
- Money Apps
- Be Alert Regarding Your Spending
- Clear Card Balances Punctually
- Discover Cash Earning Ways
- Debt Compensation Plan
- Save Money
- Responsible Attitude
Avoid Needless Expenditures
We can make a whole list of needless and casual expenses we incur in our student life. But avoiding them can beef up our savings to pay off student loan debt and other meaningful outlays like enrolling in a professional course or buying an appliance (e.g. camera, laptop, etc.) to earn some bucks.
Moreover, some bills (e.g. gym, magazine memberships) are on auto-pay and we forget to cancel direct debits we no longer need. Keeping track of such outgoings via your mobile apps can also help you manage finances wisely.
Set a Budget
Finance tracking in the head can be confusing and improper. So, it’s better to spare some time for budgeting, though we agree it is not an enjoyable thing to do.
Budgeting ensures that you can afford to pay obligations on time and in full, this way you have a clear idea of what’s left and how much you can actually afford for fun.
Following are some major student expenses:
- School annual fee
- Activity fee (gym, swimming, sports, etc.)
- School supplies
- Personal expenditures (clothes, toiletries, etc.)
- Appliances/ equipment (laptop, pc, fridge, TV, etc.)
- Room rent
* If you are attending online classes, you can save on transport and rent
Save on Groceries
Food is a necessity and so is its planning. Saving on food wouldn’t necessarily mean having boring meals – simple, fun, and delicious recipes save you from being a prodigal and lends you toothsome food!
Also, grocery shopping is an art! Take a list and don’t overspend. You should discover a convenience store which offers better deals than others. A friend or relative can help you find one certainly.
Furthermore, you can’t desist restaurant meals/ fast food – but keep a promise of doing so only once or twice a week (as long as you are not disturbing obligatory monthly bills).
Even if you plan a budget and try obeying it, several accompanying expenses incur during student life, and working part-time can help you a lot here.
It not only swells your savings and gives you peace of mind, but also you are much more confident and communicate better.
Students can also earn by freelancing and blogging at the comfort of their home, perfectly suitable in pandemic times.
- On average, a freelance writer makes $42k on Upwork (2022)
While studying you won’t have a lot of time to work, but summer holidays allow you to save for the rest of the year. Moreover, paid internships boost experience and reserves.
Look into how much you earn and how much you spend, consider cutting needless expenses and saving bucks for emergency/ variable expenditures.
You can also get a certain amount automatically deducted from monthly income and transferred to savings to refrain from using up saved dollars.
Emergency funds reap you following benefits:
|You are ready to face any unexpected and uninvited event like a car repair. Stress levels are comparatively less than no-savers.
|Saves from Borrowing
|Borrowing has its costs like late fees, and interest rates.
|Controlled student finances builds the habit of saving for the rest of your life.
|Saved from Crazy Spending
|You wouldn’t want a new phone model or that luxury handbag, saving for emergency funds prevents prodigal spending.
Build Credit Score
Its significance can’t be stressed enough as good credit history is what you would be needing while purchasing a car/ home, renting a car, or financing a venture.
Clearing student loan debts or student credit card debts in time and in full are some of the ways students can initiate building a credit history and a solid credit score.
Where credit cards can give beneficial rewards, pay heed to not misusing them for luxuries you can’t afford and end up in a vicious debt cycle.
Only show-off and splash of (your hard-earned) money must not mean entertainment to you. There are countless ways you can spend your idle time enjoyably.
Coronavirus holidays gave us opportunities to discover pocket-friendly and fun entertainment ideas. We can continue doing such activities so that we have a mind relaxing break from routine without burdening our banks.
Download at least 2-3 famous and user-friendly money management applications on your smartphone and digest what they offer. Later choose the most suitable one and you yourself would notice your altered (or improved) approach towards financial management and savings.
In addition, money applications result in:
- Faster payments
- Secure payments
- Payments at the comfort of your space
Be Alert Regarding Your Spending
Budgeting software can help you detect where you spend your earnings and which expenses you can sidestep to save your money.
Following spending alternatives can help you in student life:
- Consider using pre-owned textbooks
- Checkout brands and restaurants which have exclusive discounts for students
- Avoid expensive cafes
Clear Card Balances Punctually
Credit cards are handy and make you affordable. However, if you don’t clear card bills in full and on time – be ready for over-flowing interest rates and a crack in your credit scores.
- 57% of students in college utilize a credit card.
In the event that you pay minimum credit card payments, you would have to bear compound interest. Students should consider 0 interest overdrafts for lending money.
Discover Cash Earning Ways
Even if you are on a scholarship or your parents are paying your bills, earning some dollars would help you build a strong personality and provide you with a trailer of how independent living feels. Following are some hustle ideas:
Numerous students/ adults have made channels on YouTube sharing:
- Entertainment Content
- Educational Content
YouTube pays the creators dependent upon their views and subscriptions. Some creators later cash the fame by selling or marketing businesses.
If your books are in fine condition, you can sell them to afford course books for next semester.
Uber/ Other Driving Platforms
If you’ve got a car, you can ride Uber in your free time without disconcerting your college time and earn some extra cash.
Photo by Jackson David via Pixabay
If you are a student, it’s is seldom possible that you aren’t familiar with a fellow who is utilizing his/ her skills for money and creativity. Students can be a:
- Graphic Designer
- Website Builder
Debt Compensation Plan
If you have taken a student loan or a car loan, don’t underestimate the significance of having a debt compensation plan of:
- How are you going to pay off monthly installments?
- How are you going to pay interests?
- How would you ensure not rickling the debt payments?
This is because you wouldn’t want to ruin your credit report and credit score.
Earnings and savings go hand in hand, if you lose on one – you would most probably be affecting the other. Use campus facilities instead of purchasing outside memberships (e.g. for swimming and gym), skip parties at fancy restaurants, open a savings account to build your savings.
While you are growing up, numerous happy and unhappy phases are coming and going and budgeting may seem a boring and hectic task – whichever much tiring and unexciting it may be – at the end of the day (or at the end of college is more appropriate!) you would be on your own sooner.
Therefore, you wouldn’t want your bad money habits at college to ruin your next few years. Take responsibility and learn about better financial strategies. It’s going to help, we promise!
Possible Financial Hitches in Student Life
You are discovering yourself, discovering your passion, making friends, and widening your skillset in college. And in between if you pay any less attention to your finances and debt (e.g. student loans and credit card debts), its effects can bother you even after college.
Below are some areas where students have chances to struggle significantly:
- Student Loans
- Credit Card Misuse
- No Debt Payoff Scheme
- Housing Costs
- Wants vs. Needs
Students take up loans to afford education. The interest rates of private loans are high and need to be dealt with smartly.
As of 2021, 44 million student loans are outstanding in the United States.
You are not obliged to repay in school life and in six months post-graduation. Private loan terms are distinct from federal loans. The repayment period of federal loans may fall b/w 10 to 25 years.
Credit Card Misuse
Students may misuse credit cards in the following ways:
|Omit linking credit rating and credit card use
|One of the factors which influence your credit scores is credit utilization i.e. how much credit you’ve employed.
High utilization negatively impacts your credit score.
|Instead of paying the minimum repayment amount, try getting rid of debt as soon as possible to avoid compound interests.
|Effects of Late Payment
|Paying late would destroy your credit rating at an early age and it would take a long while to recover your credit score.
|No Track of Spending
|Students forget that credit cards can be deadly if spent irresponsibly. Purchase what you can afford only and repay in time.
Chase Freedom Student Credit Card, Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students, and Discover it Student Cash Back Card are some of the best student credit card options.
No Debt Payoff Scheme
Debt payoff schemes help you strategize repaying in time. No scheme is equivalent to you being okay with piled-up debts and interest rates and destroyed credit scores resultantly.
Housing costs include:
- Appliances bills: AC, lights, etc.
- Internet services, etc.
Living with parents can cut some of these costs. Carefully using appliances and groceries can also save money.
Wants vs. Needs
It is crucial to differentiate b/w the two to ovoid splurging and disturbing your budgets. Focus more on needs and limit your wants.