Finance Tips for College Students

As a college student, you likely know the importance of saving money. After the cost of tuition, books, and housing, you probably have to live off a pretty frugal budget in order to make ends meet. As a student, there are numerous things you can do to manage your finances while still enjoying college life.

Use your ID

Your student ID is more than just your meal and bookstore pass. Your student ID also likely comes with some perks you may not even be aware of. Many businesses around college campuses will often give discounts to students who present a valid student ID when paying. While it may not seem like much, the little bit you save each time you shop off campus can save you lots of money in the long run, so don’t forget to grab your ID to bring other you whenever you shop around your college.

Know Wants Versus Needs

It may be tempting to stop at the campus coffee shop every morning on your way to class to get your favorite nonfat skinny vanilla latte, but those daily lattes can add up and put a severe dent in your wallet. Before you stop in for your next caffeine fix, determine whether you really have money in your budget to afford it. Part of maintaining a good budget is separating your wants from your needs. You may want that latte, but you don’t really need it so if you can’t afford it, you should probably skip it. The same goes for other purchases you make, such as concerts, bar tabs, and dinners out with friends.

Drive Smart

As a college student, you may not be allowed to bring a car onto campus your first year. You can check with your college to see what their rules are regarding having cars on campus. If you’re allowed to bring a vehicle and you think you’ll need one to get around to work and elsewhere, you may want to buy one. Before you make a purchase, you should consider getting a car on a budget to save serious cash while you’re in school. You don’t need a brand new car when you’ll be spending most of your time on campus so getting something second hand can get you through your college years without much trouble.

Be Smart with Credit

While you’re in college, and after, you should be careful about how much credit card debt you accumulate. If you aren’t working a steady job to pay them back you could easily get yourself into debt that can quickly become overwhelming. Before you open a credit card, consider whether you can take on the responsibility of paying it back each month to avoid interest charges. If the answer is no, you should skip getting them altogether or only get one and use it in the event of an emergency. Remember— if you do get a credit card, you shouldn’t use it frivolously. Don’t use it on expensive gadgets or nights out that you won’t be able to pay back in full at the end of the month.

Using these helpful tips, you can keep your finances in order while you’re in school, which can help you down the road when you want to apply for credit after you graduate and get a job.

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