Many college students are looking forward to getting back to campus to continue their education and resume their social life. Whether you’re a first-year student or well-versed in college life, understanding proper money management in college will likely set you up for a more solid financial future.
Work in a Budget
When you were living with your parents or guardians, you likely had all your basic needs met through their care. This may have allowed you more freedom with the money you earned. Continued carefree spending may get you into trouble starting in your college years as you will not only be responsible for more of your own living expenses, but also likely responsible for the costs of college/student loans.
Our Monthly Spending Plan is a great place to start and will help you create a budget. Put pen to paper on this to make it real and write any additional expenses in the margins as the document may not catch every expense. Then, try to stick to your budget as closely as possible to pursue your financial visions, goals and dreams.
Limit Your Student Debt
When you apply for financial aid, you may be overwhelmed with the amount of money you will be given above your tuition costs. Often you are given additional funds to cover living expenses and supplies. It is crucial to remember that even though you are freely given this money, you will eventually have to pay it back, likely with interest.
Spend your funds on essentials only and borrow only what you need. If you have extra money, pay back as much of the loans as possible during the grace period.
College is also where the credit card offers start to roll in. This is a fast and slippery slope. Try using a debit card for your expenses ensuring that you’re spending your money rather than a large institution’s money and paying an exorbitant amount of interest to do so.
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
Being on a student budget is hard, and many businesses know this. Try to frequent places that provide you with a student discount, so you can save as much as possible on the things you need. Student discounts are found at almost any business, including restaurants, retail stores, and even entertainment venues.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
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