College is the time when an individual leaves his or her childhood behind and takes the step into adulthood. The possibility of independence, enrolling into a course of one’s choice and generally living alone without parents’ watchful eyes makes the youngsters excited and a little careless about their finances.
College time is also the time when expenses see a burgeoning growth. In addition to tuition fees and expenses for living on campus, spending on stylish garments, eating out and movies etc remain the major expenses for a youngster. But a distinction between essential, necessary and unnecessary expenses has to be made by the students to manage their money better.
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While making new friends, getting into a reputed college and enjoy their independence might be on top of mind for most students, this is also a period when they can learn to handle the opportunity of managing money independently and responsibly and it is imperative that they learn to do so by following these steps:
- Create a budget: Every college students must seat with their parents and chart out a budget for himself. This should reflect his or her income avenues like money given by parents, part-time jobs or scholarships. They must also decide how much they are going to spend on textbooks, travel, phone and data charges and food and entertainment.
- Searching for the best education loan and applying for it: If you are taking an education loan to fund your studies, then this is the time to take initiative and responsibility by shopping around and bagging the best offer on educational loans. You could find out a rate that is cheaper by going to a public sector bank or use a loan repayment calculator from several third party websites to find the best offer. The schedule of repayment, available at these calculators, can give you an idea how much you can save by making a prepayment.
- Applying for scholarship opportunities: If your university/institute offers a scholarship for studies or sports do consider applying. Not only will they bring down your costs of your education, but also give you a chance to prove yourself.
- Taking up a part-time job: As your parents are spending a considerable sum by getting you higher education, you could do
- Spend pocket money wisely: Since most of the costs for your college study and expenses are funded from your parents’ pockets and loans, college students must spend their pocket money wisely. The best way to do it is to make a budget and stick to it. If you can avail students’ discount at a garment store, movie hall or restaurant, please do so.
- Curb unnecessary expenses: A corollary of the above point is that students must learn to curb unnecessary expenses. Sharing a ride with friends, using the institute bus or public transport to travel and not splurging at expensive indulgences can all curb unnecessary expenses. After all money saved is money earned.
- Guard against identity theft: This is one danger youngsters never guard against. Going by exciting offers and promises, they often submit their details and copies of documents to scamsters who could later misuse it. Too much trust in friends may also lead them share credit card details which can then lead to cases of online and credit fraud.
It is better to financially responsible and manage limited amounts of money responsibly at college itself so that a student can do the same in future. By following the steps above, a student can learn to save and manage money effectively.