Money Management Tips to Improve Your Finances
Unless you win a massive amount of money in the lottery, managing your money is essential to you. Even if you have a lot of money, it can take effort to work it well. Keeping your bank account in the black may seem even more challenging if you are a student.
If you went back to school, you might have had to cut back on your work hours to make time for your new homework and other responsibilities. Or you’ve never had to pay much attention to how much you spent on groceries or where the money went when you paid for a streaming service every month.
No matter what made you decide to get a better handle on your budget, you know that you need help managing your money in college, and we’re here to help. We got advice from both financial experts and college students like you.
Check out these quick tips on how to handle your money
Create a Budget
High school students who don’t care about money often spend all the money in their bank accounts. They live off of their parent’s generosity or the money they earn from a part-time job. Once that student goes to college, they need a budget.
Whether or not your child has seen a budget, you should sit down together and discuss money. Make a plan for all of their sources of income, such as the money you will give, money from a job, and money from there are loans, grants, and other ways to help pay for school. Then, teach your first-year college student how to group expenses so they know where all the money is going. Even though you can’t make your student stick to a budget, you can be sure that they know how to use one and has a clear idea of what is and isn’t affordable.
Pay attention to credit cards.
If going to college is like setting sail on a big ocean, then credit card companies are the sharks. They specifically go after first-year students who need to learn what they’re doing. They do this because they think first-year students are short on cash and excited about making “easy” money. They also believe that first-year students will need to be more careful with their credit cards and end up paying late fees and high-interest rates. Credit card companies often try to get college students to sign up for their cards by offering free concert tickets or college gear.
Set Financial Limits
One way to help your child spend less in their first year is to set spending limits on things they don’t need. Establishing a spending limit will keep your freshman from buying stuff on the spot, but it should make them think twice about whether the new iPhone is necessary. Add the extra money to your student’s proposed budget, but keep it separate from food and gas.
Use the services online.
College students will only sit down and use an Excel spreadsheet to figure out their finances, especially when there are better ways to do it. Instead, get your student a service online or an app for their phone that makes managing money easy and convenient. After all, that person’s hand is stuck to that phone anyway.
Look for deals for students.
Students in college should become experts at finding ways that their education can save them money. Many stores, restaurants, and services near college campuses offer student discounts that could save your freshman a lot of money during their first year. Also, when students look for values, they learn how important it is to find good deals.
Avoid Textbooks That Cost a Lot
Oh, the textbook. It’s the thing that breaks college students’ budgets. Some professors change and update their books almost every year, but most of them use the same ones year after year. So, your student should be able to spend less than hundreds of dollars on books before class. There are many ways for your college student to save money on textbooks, like looking for ads on campus bulletin boards or shopping on eBay and Amazon. Or, you could tell your child to look at websites where many standard textbooks can be rented. Some schools also have programmes where you can rent books, so ask at the bookstore or library what your options are.
Keep private information safe.
Identity theft is a problem for college students, among the most vulnerable and least aware of the problem. Tell your student not to talk about private things. Simple things like sharing a password with a friend or Social Security number or leaving personal documents around can make it easy for someone to steal your child’s identity.
When you send your fresher off to college, you’re not just starting a new chapter for your family. You’re also looking to see if all the advice and financial training you’ve given your child pays off. No one always makes the best choices regarding money, but if you give your child a good foundation of training, they should only make a few mistakes in their first year.