Personal Finance: 15 Financial Tips For College Students

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Personal Finance: 15 Financial Tips For College Students

College offers you with a wealth of knowledge. However, it is not surprising how it takes a toll on finances if you are not careful enough. The cost of books, living, tuition, and the rest of it can sum up to become some way bigger than you anticipate. This is the reason why it is very important to have financial planning for college students.

Managing money wisely can go a pretty long way towards maintaining good financial health throughout your college and even after that.

In this article, we shall discuss all the important tips that college students need to follow in order to save as much as they can.

So, without any delay, let us get started.

Contents

Financial Planning Tips For College Students

Here are some of the most effective tips that will help you save a good amount of money by the end of each month. However, if you are reading through this, make sure you plan to stick to it till the end. Maintaining your financial health is not as simple as it seems. There are too many hurdles and temptations that they have to cross to make sure they are in a stable financial position.

So, start following this only when you are sure to follow it till you have reached somewhere. Here are the financial tips that can help fix your financial health.

Create A Budget

Create A Budget

The word budget is pretty traumatic for some people. For people like us who love spending, staying on

a budget is our worst nightmare. But, coming from there, there is nothing more beneficial than maintaining a budget if you wish to save money during your college days.

Budgets are an integral part of the money management process. It helps you keep track of the money you have and the money you spend. It makes sure that you are not spending way too much. When you take time out to make a budget, you should have some money to put into your savings.

Note down the amount that you have at present, how much you would need to cover for all your expenses, and the amount of your income that you bring in on an everyday basis. This will help you figure out how much of the disposable income you have with yourself. This way, you can decide how much you can spend and how much you can save for yourself.

If you do not wish to go with the age-old ways of budgeting, you’ll be happy to know that there are several websites and applications that are directly linked to your bank account. Once you set your budget there, there is no way that you can ever spend more than the amount you decide to spend.

Track The Expenses

Once you make the budget, please make sure that you strictly stick to it. This also involves tracking all the places where you tend to spend your money. Also, keep track of how much you are spending in all these places. You may have important expenses, like rent, groceries, or transportation costs. The rest of your expenses may include services or items that may not be necessary, like subscriptions or dine-outs.

Make sure you have the money that is enough to cover your necessary expenses before you spend money on unnecessary ones. Tracking expenses makes having control over your finances pretty simple, as you can see where exactly the money is going. This may motivate you to stop spending on unnecessary things.

The Importance Of Saving

The Importance Of Saving

Saving funds now can actually be helpful to build a stable financial future once you graduate and begin with your career. Even putting in very small amounts of money every week or month can add up to something big over time.

When you get into the habit of doing this, you also develop a very healthy financial habit. You would not need to have any particular goal in mind to save. At times, you can just save for the sake of it. For instance, if you are earning $1,000 a month, and you only need $600 for your necessary expenses, keep the rest $400 as savings. By the end of the year, you will have $4,800 in savings.

High-Interest Savings Account

It is better to put your savings in a high-interest savings account than keeping it at home. There is a chance that you might lose the money if you keep it at home. Also, money kept at home does not grow. If you rather keep it in a high-interest savings account, you can be assured that your money will grow to some extent by the end of the year.

Make Sure To Have An Emergency Fund

Make Sure To Have An Emergency Fund

No one ever gets to know when an emergency is going to come up. So, it is better to stay prepared. For instance, your car might just break down in the middle of nowhere. Here, you would need some emergency money to fix it. If you do not have anything saved, that will affect the amount you spend on the necessary items. No one wants to get into debt right in their college days. Also, debts are bad for your credit score.

Having an emergency fund helps you cover all the important expenses instead of piling up credit card debts. So, every time you get your paycheck, put aside a small amount that you will only use in case of emergencies. Make sure you do not keep it with the rest of your money. You may end up accidentally spending it.

Start Building A Credit Score

Building your credit score and keeping it healthy is proof that you are financially responsible. This is what creditors usually look for. When you have a good credit score, it helps boost the chance of getting approval for loans and mortgages. This score also affects how much you get to pay in interest rates. You may establish and develop your credit score by handling your credit cards responsibly, like keeping your balance low or paying them off in full every month. If your credit score is low, paying off debts or paying bills on time may help improve it.

Stop Impulsive Buying

Stop Impulsive Buying

If you want to save money, STOP SPENDING MONEY IMPULSIVELY. You absolutely do not need every random thing you see in the market. Make a list of things you need from the market, and buy only those.

Just because something looks useful does not mean you need it. Stick to what is necessary and scrape out the rest.

Get A Job

This is the easiest way to maintain financial health. If you want to make money in the future, make sure that you start pretty early. Try to look for jobs in the earliest days of your college. This way, you can be sure that you have a stable source of income to get you going through college.

When in college, even the smallest of the incomes matters too much. People work two jobs at a time to make sure that they have enough money to spend and save during college. Having a job also gives you a firsthand experience of how the working world operates. Also, a job helps you understand your likes and dislikes about working. It adds up to your experience when you actually start working after graduation. Just make sure that you maintain a balance between your job and school work.

Get Your Hands On Student Discounts

Get Your Hands On Student Discounts

Student discounts help save a good amount of money on a variety of expenses. Some of the biggest companies give students discounts on services and products. These may range from car insurance to digital subscriptions. You may also check with the local businesses to see if they are offering any discounts.

Using your student discount benefits can actually help you spend less money collectively on the products or services you purchase every day. If you are visiting a local theme park or museum, make sure to ask for these student discounts. This way, you can spend some of your free time while staying within your budget. These discounts also help add to your savings every month.

Eat At Home

There is no need for you to eat out every day. Being a college student, it was one of my most toxic habits to eat out most days. But did it help me? No!

Grabbing a takeout or using food delivery may seem like the best option while trying to fit in the busy college life, but this takes away a chunk of your budget. Restaurant prices, tips, and delivery charges can add up majorly.

Rather than depending on restaurants to eat, do food planning to save yourself some money every week. This way, you can make sure to eat healthy food at home. When you plan your meals beforehand, you can be assured how much to spend on groceries. Buying things for meals is way cheaper than spending every day at a restaurant. Also, you get the added benefit of eating healthy food. So, not only will it contribute towards your financial health, but also towards your physical health.

Buy The Used One Whenever You Can

Buy The Used One Whenever You Can

Purchasing brand-new things is always going to cost way more in comparison to buying second-hand stuff. From furniture to cars, everything costs less when you buy a used version of it. For instance, you may be able to find a carefully used textbook that is way less expensive than the brand-new one.

When it comes to bigger purchases, like a car or furniture, going through the used options may help you save more money than you can imagine. You can later put this money in your savings account or emergency fund to make sure you are putting it to good use.

Small Things Add Up

As you create the budget and track expenses, you will be able to notice the little things that add up. For instance, you may stop and buy some coffee while going to class every day. While this may seem like a very small expense, when you add it up at the end of the month, you realize how much you were spending every month on a mere cup of coffee. The more you notice these smaller things, the more you become aware of your spending habits. This will motivate you to control those unhealthy spending habits for the sake of your financial health.

Automate Your Transfers And Bill Payments

Automate Your Transfers And Bill Payments

When you get late in paying your bills, it lowers your credit score. This will result in in you paying late fees or high interest rates. Or maybe you just forgot to transfer money from your checking accounts each month, mainly if you are busy with some tough class assignment. Automating your bills and transfers is pretty convenient and makes sure that you do not forget about any payments as such.

You will be paying all of your bills on time, and you can be assured that all your money is transferred to your savings account or emergency fund right on time. Setting up automated transfers and bill payments takes the worry off of your shoulder. So, you get to put your full focus on college projects, Assignments, And Tests.

Stay Right On Top Of Scholarship Opportunities

As you go through all the options of financial planning for college students, make sure you are going through the scholarship opportunities. Scholarships cover the total or a part of your college expenses. And there is no need for you to pay them back after college. This helps ease the entire financial burden that student loans bring, which you have to pay back.

Also, scholarships are not one-time. They do not just come up when you first apply for college. You can always check for newer opportunities and scholarships that you are eligible for.

Review Every Day And Adjust

Setting up the budget, savings, and emergency fund is the best start to manage your money. But you need to prepare yourself for the reviews of your finances. You need to regularly determine if there is any need to adjust the budget. Otherwise, you may just lose track of your financial health. With daily reviews and adjustments, you get to stay on track and move towards a bright future.

The Bottom Line

Financial planning for college students is not an easy thing. Starting off with a new life while having to plan your finances is not an easy thing. However, with the right motivations and tips, saving during college is not unachievable.

You just need to understand all your areas of spending and plan your budget accordingly. And the most important thing towards financial planning is – sticking to it. You cannot just start with something and leave it in the middle. Yes, it is going to be difficult for the first few weeks or months, but with time and sincerity, financial planning will become easier than ever.

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Upasana is a budding journalist who has a keen interest in writing. She considers writing as therapeutic and is most confident when she writes. She is passionate about music, movies and fashion. She writes in a way that connects with the audience in a personal level. She is optimistic, fun loving and opinionated.

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