November 23, 2016
Especially for younger people, the transition into college can be a huge hit on your finances if you aren’t careful and observant of your spending habits and how your basic needs fit in. For older adults, the change won’t be quite so drastic in terms of lifestyle, but if you don’t take certain expenditures into consideration, you could end up surprised at debt factors as well.
So five financial tips specifically to help beginning college students would be to get your credit straight, live on cash-only for a few weeks to understand budgeting from that perspective, get your budget straight ahead of time, read up about student loans and interest rates, and if you’re just getting out of high school, leave the financial nest, even if it’s difficult.
Get Your Credit Straight
There are a lot of ways to get loans for school. They can come from private or public sources, they can come from the government or banks, they can come from parents and friends. But the best idea is to treat money and credit with great respect in the early stages of getting into your scholastic program.
Live Cash-Only For a Few Weeks To Practice
Something that everyone should do at some point, to help them understand finances, is to live on just cash for a few weeks sometime. It will make you think much more about the exchange of money for goods and services, and feel very different than just being able to swipe a card somewhere or hit a button on a phone.
Get Your Budget Straight
Sometimes students just entering what might be called more of the ‘real world’ don’t have the best idea of how to budget. They’ve never had to consider a limit on their spending outside of their home environment, and they can get a little lost when they have recurring bills or times when a financial safety net isn’t present.
Read About Student Loans and Interest Rates
And unless you’re somehow independently wealthy right upon entering into the collegiate system, you’re probably going to have to get some kind of a student loan. Entry processing will often just have you gloss over the number, but do that and 30 years later you’ll still be wondering why you’re paying interest.
Leave the Nest, Even If It’s Difficult
For kids straight out of high school, you may still want to rely on your parent for money. Don’t do it. Get a job as soon as possible, even if it’s not in your career field, even if it’s part time, even if it’s lousy work. Learn the power of money the hard way, and you’ll appreciate what you have more, as well as take good financial lessons further on into your life.