Learning to be financially responsible at college

Feb 27, 2019 by

Source: Pexels

In college, being well prepared for an exam is not enough. You have to take care of everything else as well. This includes your financial state.

With a third of young adults being financially illiterate, and Americans owing 1.5 trillion in student debt, it’s about the time to embrace financial responsibility.

Here are 7 steps on how to save money in college.

Grow up before the college

Nowadays, a college degree will cost you anywhere between $30,000 and $200,000 in student loans. This is not a small sum, as you may imagine.

The starting salary in tech may be around $60,000 a year, but you want to get into journalism, marketing, or any other profession where it’s significantly lower, you have to measure the risks.

When you’re looking for a college, answer these questions:

  • Does this degree give me marketable skills?
  • Will this degree be relevant in 10 years?
  • Will I be able to find a job in the field straight out of college?
  • Does the price allow me to pay off the loan in a couple of years?

Be very honest with yourself when you are answering these questions. It’s not just a couple of years of your life that are at stake. If you make a big mistake, you may find yourself with no skills, no experience, and with a $100,000 in debt.

If you’re not sure, you can always go for courses, apprenticeship, internship, or go to a cheaper college.

Find scholarship opportunities

Are you a bright student? You shouldn’t pay for your education yourself!

Find a range of scholarships and apply for all of them. If you do get one, your problems with finances in college are pretty much solved.

Some scholarships will cover the full cost of tuition. They are normally merit-based and are awarded to those students who show great skill or talent in a particular field. Some will only give you a couple of thousands of dollars for studies. Some are given to minority students or kids from military families.

Either way, even a small bonus to your tuition cost counts. Discover what scholarships you can apply for and do it.

Find a job

Going to college is about adulting and becoming financially independent. The basics of financial literacy for college students is getting a job to support yourself and rely on your parents less.

But don’t rush to become another student waitress. You may earn a ton of money in tips, but long shifts are not the best thing for your studies.

Before you hit the local bars looking for work, try to get a freelance position at a company that can help your professional growth. Before long you’ll start asking yourself “is edusson legit?”, and  thinking about buying a paper because you work such long hours.

If you get an assistant’s position at a small company, you can earn a bit of money to get by, and a lot of experience. This will help you be the first among your classmates to get a really good job once you graduate.

Have an emergency sum

As a result of financial illiteracy, many people don’t have spare money. They just live from payday to payday. This results in people getting payday loans, overspending from their credit cards, and driving themselves deeper in debt.

How to save up money? It’s easier than you would imagine. You have to budget your spending.

It may be hard to pass on some of the things that are so great about youth. You may not be able to drink every Friday or give your girl a great date, but the result is worth it.

Set aside a bit of money each month and don’t touch it until you really need to.

Don’t eat out

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Source: Pexels

This may sound awful, but eating out can destroy your budget. Sure, eating at the college canteen is okay, but spending each evening eating at a restaurant will leave your finances in ruin.

Even if you’re going out to have drinks, you’d be better off in a bar that doesn’t serve too much food. Otherwise, you can spend half the check on eating expensive gourmet meals.

Live cheap

Housing is in big trouble these days. Most people can’t afford to rent a flat alone, not to mention the students.

If you can live on campus, do it. Especially so, if you live in a big city like LA or San Francisco. It’s probably impossible to find a decent room for a bargain, even if you have a roommate.

If living in a dorm is not an option, go for the cheap and humble flat in good condition. You don’t want anything above the bare minimum, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on repair either.

Have fun for free

While drinking all night is quite an expensive thing to do, this doesn’t mean you can’t have cheap fun.

Most of the good things in life cost you nothing. You won’t see people paying to cuddle with their significant other, to swim in the ocean, or to participate in a student play. Add a couple of free art exhibitions that you can find in pretty much every city, and you have all the fun you need.

What you can’t get for free, you can get cheaper. Just ask if the place offers student ID discounts.

Do I have to be frugal?

Making it through college doesn’t mean working all night long and living on bread and water. You will have to cut on some fun, but you shouldn’t withdraw from social life.

Being financially stable and having a great college experience is possible!

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