College is often the first time young adults get the opportunity to handle their finances. This can be a great learning experience as long as it is done correctly. Most college students will benefit from following these important tips.
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
Taking the time to get a student ID from the student center and research discounts can help students significantly save money each semester. There are all sorts of major retailers, including Amazon and Microsoft, that provide special deals for students. This can help students save hundreds of dollars each year.
Build an Emergency Fund
It might seem tempting to spend any extra money on fun adventures, but saving is also important. Students should start building an emergency fund that will pay for at least three months of living expenses. This helps them handle unexpected emergencies and keeps them from being stuck in a bad situation due to a lack of funds.
Find a Part-Time Job
It is best to pay for expenses with a job instead of with a student loan whenever possible. In addition to lowering the amount of debt a student has, a part-time job also provides valuable work experience. In a job market where many employers ask for years of experience in an entry-level position, an early start is a good thing.
Start Building Credit Now
Students who take the time to build good credit in their college years will find that they can save big on future purchases like cars and homes. Building credit is as simple as getting a credit card, using it, and promptly paying off debt. The most important thing is to only use the credit card for purchases one can afford. Racking up significant debt in college can cause a student’s credit score to nosedive.
Set a Budget and Stick to It
Building a budget is one of the essential financial skills students need to learn. It is important to calculate all necessary expenses, like rent, groceries, utilities, and tuition, and then compare this to the amount of money a student is getting. Then they need to set aside reasonable amounts for entertainment, emergencies, savings, and other expenses.