College can swiftly put students in compromising financial positions. With all of the financial burdens placed on students, it’s not uncommon for some to become spendthrifts — someone who spends in an irresponsible way — if they don’t have the proper tools to spend smarter. Becoming fiscally responsible takes time and continuous efforts — it’s important to start as early as possible. Using the tools at-hand, you can turn your spendthrift habits around and take full control of your finances.
Use the Budget Tools at Your Disposal
Sticking to a budget is much easier when it’s accessible, when we can adapt and change it on-the-go. Students are already using apps in nearly every other facet of their lives, so why not incorporate this tool into their finances? Budgeting apps have become increasingly popular thanks to their streamlined interfaces, step-by-step instructions, and the variety available. Once you’ve found the app that fits your personal needs, you can seamlessly incorporate it into your daily schedule.
Access Student Discounts
Nearly every major restaurant chain, retailer, and public transit system offers student pricing or special promotions. Saving even a dollar or two with your purchases can add up quickly. Your student ID and campus email address are your gateways to savings, whether you’re catching the bus to class or you’re trying to trim your cellphone bill. Taking advantage of the discounts available is important, because once you graduate you won’t be able to access those savings.
Assess Your Credit Options
Unsurprisingly, managing your finances in college often means irregular cash shortages throughout the year. Understanding all of your credit options will give you a full picture into your short-term solutions. Online payday loans have become increasingly common, often preferred over traditional lending which is often far less efficient and comes with too much red tape. The right lender will walk you through the process quickly and provide you with the convenience you need as you manage a full course load.
Credit cards can cause problems for college students, but if used correctly they can actually offer benefits. Most banks offer students a credit limit which allows you to keep it on-hand for emergencies without allowing you to take on too much credit. Having a small monthly balance that you can pay off immediately will allow you to build credit as you prepare to leave school — putting you in a better position to make larger purchases in the future.
Avoid Expensive Textbooks
This is an expense that often goes overlooked, and can be an unwelcome surprise when classes begin. Purchasing new textbooks can run students hundreds of dollars depending on their course load. It can cause a real financial burden for many students, as the overall costs of college education continue to rise. Cutting costs around textbooks is one of the fastest ways to save money. Students can take advantage of the textbook comparison sites available, or by visiting their school’s used book store if they house one on campus.
If you have trouble saving and budgeting, we hope this quick and easy guide will help you stay financially responsible this semester.