As you venture out into the world as a college freshman, you now have a lot more freedom and more responsibility. The financial decisions you make now can determine whether your financial future. We’re here to help share some guidelines and tips on how to use your money and new-found freedom wisely. Here are some tips for you to consider as you begin making your own financial decisions:
- Look for Savings – New textbooks are expensive and supply costs quickly add up. Did you know the average cost of college textbooks and school supplies for a full-time student was roughly $1,240? When it comes to buying textbooks this semester, look to purchase or rent used books as opposed to buying them brand new. You can also save yourself some money and stress by waiting until the first week of classes to review the syllabus and see whether or not your professor requires certain textbooks too.
- Be Careful with Your Credit - Being in college will likely be the first time you handle a credit card. Even if you manage to get a card with a high limit, you should never maximize your limit. A good rule here is to keep your credit at around 30%. If you end up owing too much, you could incur high-interest rates that can send you into a debt problem.
And be sure to be protective of your credit card information. One of the last things you want to worry about during a semester is having to deal with identity theft. For more information, or help if you believe you are a victim of identity theft, be sure to consult us by clicking here.
- Financial Aid and On-Campus Jobs – Financial aid is one of the most important ways you can save on tuition at school, and often there are several ways to apply for potential funding for your college. You can even look for scholarship opportunities from outside organizations, whether it’s alumni associations, or sponsors and business supporters of your school.
Universities also offer on-campus jobs which range from writing center jobs, tutoring, working at the student center, and more. This is a great and flexible way to earn income through college that you can put toward your tuition costs.
- Budget Your Food Expenses - Food can take up most of your budget if you’re not careful. From fast food to splurging on snacks, this can empty your wallet fast. By setting a budget for your food, you’ll always think about ways to make the most out of it. You begin looking for cheaper yet more filling options.
Another way to approach this is to plan your groceries ahead of time. By knowing exactly what you’re going to buy, you can control the amount you spend on food. Even a bit of research online can give you access to cheap yet satisfying meals. Plus, you can download budgeting apps on your phone to help you stay on track.
Don’t Fear Mistakes
Part of learning how to be better with money is making a few mistakes along the way. Don’t put yourself down if you made a mistake with the money you spent. You are still a college freshman, and in the phase of your life where you can recover from any financial mistakes. As long as you keep improving and developing good habits, you’ll always be fine.