Personal Finance: College Edition

For many, college is the first time in our lives that we’re on our own. We pack up our bags and start on the adventure that is our lives and one of the biggest struggles of being a college student is money. From term to term, rent, and food, it all adds up quickly and it can be rather stressful. Remember to take a breath and maybe these tips can take a little of the edge off.

Budget

Organization is something that most people struggle with, especially while entering adulthood. It’s a skill that takes time and effort, but it could make life a whole lot easier. The most basic concept of keeping a budget is defining income and spending and from there making sure that you aren’t spending more than you’re making.

It’ll take time, it’s no easy task to start and keep a budget, but once you figure out your spending habits and tone them to better fit your income, you could see a thicker wallet at the end of each month. It could be as easy as making coffee at home instead of getting it out, the dollars and cents will start to add up.

Loans

Thinking in the moment is a thought process that is needed a lot of the time, but when it comes to loans it pays to think ahead. It’s important to remember to take out only what you absolutely need to to make it through the school year. It may make sense to take out more and pay it off later, but in the end game, the interest alone will take time to pay off. So instead of spending loan money to take that trip, or buying the new game system, save up for it instead, it may take longer, but it’ll be worth it.

Savings

College is a hard time to think about savings, “paycheck to paycheck” is no longer a term we need to learn, and rather one many students are currently living. A good way to start saving is to keep the change, whether it be a few pennies, to a dollar or two. Keeping change off to the side, or starting a savings account for your change may sound like a small and worthless endeavor, but it all adds up.

Entertainment

Finally, one thing to always remember is that college is a chance to mature, to gain friendships and meet colleagues that will last a lifetime. With that in mind it’s important to remember that there’s an important part beyond funding, studies, and books. Yes, it’s important to save money, and lessen spending, but it’s also important to remember that these are the years that help form the person you are for the rest of your life. With that being said be sure to set money aside to go out, whether it’s a simple coffee with friends, or a movie every once in awhile, it’s important to have those moments and form those memories.

For more tips and advice on making it through college check out this Forbes article here!

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