If you’re in college or getting ready to move in, this may be your first opportunity to live away from home. With that comes a lot of firsts and a bunch of new responsibilities. Whether you have an allowance from your parents, saved money from a summer job, or work, it’s essential to keep track of your money. These money tips can help you get started with good financial habits that will last.
Getting yourself the right credit card for you can go a long way. However, there are a few things you should know first.
Credit cards come with an interest rate, which means that if you don’t pay back what you spend in full, you’ll have to pay a percentage of the remaining balance at each statement.
Credit cards can come with cashback deals, so you should take advantage of them when it makes sense. Cashback deals on gas, food, and more can work great for students like you but do your research first on what different companies offer.
Avoid debt if you can. Credit card debt can build up, and you can find yourself paying higher and higher interest payments.
Student loans are commonplace for most students. According to Nerdwallet, depending on where you go to school, you can inherit anywhere from $26,000 to $55,000 in student loans for a Bachelor’s degree. Staying on top of your payments is crucial to maintaining good credit, which will boost your credit score in conjunction with consistent credit card payments.
However, if you are married or have a parent co-signed on your loans, they can be responsible for payments should something happen to you. If you’re not already insured with your parents, you should consider looking into health insurance or talking to a life insurance attorney.
3. Getting a side job
As a student, you’ll have free time outside of class, and you should use that time to earn some extra cash. Companies like Rover, DoorDash, and Uber have made it easy to work when it’s best for you.
Budgeting as a college student can be straightforward if you spend the time to understand your expenses. If you can avoid buying new books and opt for renting or used books, you can save yourself from some costly books. After that, consider clothes, food, rent, and other factors that impact you daily, weekly, and so on.
Look for deals
College students have a lot of great opportunities to snag really good deals. Apple, for example, is giving a free pair of AirPods and a discount with a Macbook purchase. Amazon Student is free for students for the first six months, college students can get access to free Microsoft Office software, and H&M offers 15% off your purchase with your ID.
We recommend taking advantage of these tips whenever you can. School is the time for new experiences and to prepare you for the future. These finance tips can get you started on savings, a good credit score, and good habits moving forward.
About the Author
Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area.