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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Checklist to maintain financial responsibility in college

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College is a beautiful learning and growing experience. But it can be challenging too, especially when it comes to finances. When a student goes away to college, they are thinking about parties, semester, learning new things, and of course having a bright future which includes a job that we are passionate about.

Managing their finances is something most students don’t even think of. If you don’t, you will be knee-deep in student loans and credit card debt.

Getting counsel in college finances is one of the best things for a college student, and in this blog, we will learn effective ways to monitor and maintain their financial health in college.

1.      Create and maintain a strict budget

You must create a budget for your college expenses. Having a budget ensures that all college-going students are aware of the things they can splurge on, and on what they need to save. You can use an online tool like Canva to create a budget which includes everything from your PG rent, school supplies, events, trips with friends, accommodation, and so on. When you have a budget for specific things, you can make sure that you don’t spend more than that, which will lead to savings that can help you pay off your debt, and maintain a good flow of finance.

2.      Be careful with debts and student loans

If you have a student loan, be savvy with your expenses and savings. Make sure that you make minimum payment towards it no matter what. If you don’t do this, it will count as bad debt, and it will go to collection, meaning a collector will call you to recover the debt.

Also, you don’t want to be part of other types of debt like credit card debt as they are hard to pay, and it can affect your credit score negatively. Once your credit score is low, you can even get disqualified from a job interview. Thus, ensure that you either pay cash or use a debit card. Credit cards are tempting, but when you are in college, it can cost a lot to your finances.

3.      Cook your meals at home

One of the most expensive things about college is food. Eating out probably seems like a better idea as it is easy, but it can be expensive at the end. No matter whether you eat in a luxurious restaurant or from a street vendor, it can add up to quite a lot. An easy fix is that you can cook your meals at the comfort of your room or PG or dormitory. Oven, OTG, and induction are pretty easy tools to operate, and you can cook delicious and budget meals at home.

4.      Take up a full-time or part-time job

Every student faces different situations and challenges in their college life. But if you can manage, taking up a part-time or full-time job is beneficial. Also, this not just helps your wallet by increasing your savings and managing your finance. It has other benefits too like, you get experience which looks better on a resume, it helps you develop the sense of managing multiple things, learn the value of time and discipline, and more.

Every job teaches you something, so if you can find one and if that is relevant to your majors, it will be like icing on the top of a cake.

5.      Find out cheap sources of fun

When you are in college, going to parties or lounges seems quite tempting. But they can be quite expensive, especially for people struggling with student loans and other debts. So, avoid them as much as you. Once in a blue moon is fine, but mostly sticks to other cheap sources of fun.

For instance, find out some fun and free activities that your college provides. Or call your close friends in your room and have a potluck or something or go see the city you live on foot or so on.

6.      Be smart about housing

A lot of people want to live off-campus or rent a house, but it will be expensive. The smart move here is to live on-campus. It will save some money on commuting and some on food as well.

While learning new things in college, you have to plan ahead for your future too. So, don’t spend too lavishly and spend only on things that you need not want.

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