Being a student can be too much fun and it can also be a drag if you don’t manage your allowance or finances. Below we consider the 10 finance tips for college students.
While students may have a lot of disposable income, as seen in a recent survey completed by youth marketing leaders Student Village, there is a strong need to have sound financial habits and to develop them early.
Given South Africa’s current financial climate, and considering that the majority of university students are either on bursaries or are receiving loans, it makes perfect sense to have a plan:
1: Don’t bury your head in the sand
This could be the worst thing to do. Its simple, it is your money and your future so take care of it. By having full control of your finances you will be able to make informed decisions rather than have them made for you.
2: Set yourself a budget
This will help you to have a handle of how much you are spending each month, and what items you are spending your money on. Make provisions for all areas of your lifestyle but be realistic.
3: Try to save money where you can
No one wants to be alone over the holiday periods so save money where you can. At the beginning of each month, set aside a little amount that is stored away. There is no point waiting until the end of the month because you probably would have spent the money by then.
4: Consider ways to earn extra money
This may depend on your study and lecture timetable. Should it be flexible, then this is an avenue to explore for sure. IT will help you purchase the extra cool items you have been viewing in store windows for months. If your timetable is pretty full, maybe speak to your lecturers to assist with part-time lecturing to years below you.
5: Spend your student loan wisely
Too many students get dollar signs in their eyes and spend their study money on other items like alcohol and partying. In your budget you will need to set this money aside as a non-negotiable
So far we have completed 5 of the 10 finance tips for college students. At this point you should have an idea of how to at least get started.
6: Get the best account for you
There are many student accounts, so do your homework on which one is the best for you. Consider monthly account fees and make sure the real benefits are not just a free wallet.
7: Take care when considering a credit card
The reason being is that you will be charged a higher interest rate on outstanding monies and this will eat into your monthly budget quickly. At best use this item for emergencies only.
8: Check your bank account regularly
You are responsible for you account and your money so make sure you have a good idea of where you are at each month by checking your account regularly. This allows you to spend wisely with each purchase that is part of your budget.
9: Don’t rely on mom or dad
Too many students get into the really bad habit of over-spending and then getting their parents to bail them out. If you want to become more responsible and have your own freedom then avoid this as much as possible. For unforeseen emergencies, your parents are there, but not because you over-extended yourself and need money for food.
10: Establish good credit
When you leave university, you will be faced with tougher and larger purchasing decisions. By establishing a good credit rating, through a sound financial track record, banks will look favorably upon you when you look to buy your first car, house or need to further your studies.
Make use of these simple 10 finance tips for college students and you will find yourself in a much healthier financial position in no time.