College is the first time most students venture into the real world, making major life decisions and taking charge of crucial responsibilities. One of the most important decisions students have to make during their time on campus relates to managing finances.
Recent surveys show that students generally struggle with poor money management skills. Close to 51% of college dropouts cite financial challenges for their decisions to terminate studies.
The secret to succeeding beyond your first year on campus is learning financial management. Of course, you will have limited funds to work with. However, you will enjoy memorable and relatively comfortable student life with the proper budgeting and planning skills.
- Learn to Budget
Recent data shows that student loans have grown above 116% over the past ten years. More students rely on debt to finance their way through college, pointing to a serious debt burden for new graduates. Since most students have limited sources of income, budgeting is crucial.
Learning to budget ensures that you avoid unnecessary expenses. You know to distinguish between needs and wants. This way, you can prioritize what needs immediate attention.
Budgeting also helps you stay healthy as it minimizes stress from poor financial decisions. Most importantly, consistent budgeting teaches essential life lessons and foundations for a healthy financial future.
Be honest with yourself as you work on your budget. Conduct a review of your spending habits and sources of income. After that, you can set clear spending goals and track your expenses. Ensure to plan for every element of your spending as a student. This includes setting aside funds for custom write my essays services.
- Track Your Spending
Another critical skill students need to manage their finances is tracking expenses effectively. By monitoring where your cash goes, you get to notice loopholes and tighten things up. You will be surprised by how much money you get to save by watching what you spend.
Without proper tracking, expenses like books, eating out, decorating your dorm room, and movie nights can quickly burn a hole through your pocket and deplete your finances. Besides having a detailed budget, you need to control your spending and track how you use your money.
Start by assessing your current financial standing and keep watch on your income and how it is spent. If you spend funds on platforms like www.writemyessays.org, record the information for easy tracking.
- List Your Short- and Long-Term Financial Goals
Whether you plan to get into employment, pursue a postgraduate program, or start a business after graduation, your financial goals as a college student should be realistic. Having realistic goals improves your chances of success and minimizes financial stress.
Goals can be related to graduating college with minimal debt or getting a job to help you earn more money. You could also consider saving to study abroad. Given the challenging financial choices you will face, you need to deliberate what matters to you.
- Use Credit Cards Wisely
College is the best place for students to start working on their credit ratings. Credit cards help you afford more things and give you greater spending power. However, the financial tools can be easily abused, and students can find themselves deep in debt and with damaged credit scores.
Try to keep your credit balance as low as possible, using credit cards only when necessary. Set aside a portion of your funds each month to pay off your credit card debt. Automate your payments, ensuring that you don’t skip repayments.
Most importantly, be careful when choosing credit services. Consider such things as interest rates and fees charged before signing up for a card. Remember, you can use credit cards for write my essay services online.
- Distinguish Between Wants and Needs
Succeeding in college requires carefully balancing between needs and wants. Here, needs are those items you need for survival on campus. While having wants is nice, you don’t need them for survival. For instance, students need accommodation, food, and essential clothing. Items like fashionable clothes, movie nights, and eating out are pleasant but need to be considered after met needs.
Understand that distinguishing between needs and wants is not always clear. What you need to survive on campus is a subjective decision. For instance, a car may be a need for one student and want for another. List down all the expenses that demand your attention and categorize them according to the level of priority.
Managing your money effectively is a crucial decision in college. If possible, consider increasing your income by getting a job. It would help if you also made it a habit of spending less than you earn. Most importantly, distinguish between wants and needs and set aside some money for your savings account.