It’s hard to believe, but the fall college semester is right around the corner. It’s that time of the year when you have to spend on everything from food to furniture.
Keeping track of your cash can get complicated as classes, football games, parties, and extracurriculars get started.
But nothing can ruin a semester faster than running out of cash, so don’t let all the excitement make you lose focus. Here are a few tips to ensure you and your money stay on track this semester.
Make a Budget
You’re probably going to have several sources of cash this semester. Parents, scholarships, financial aid, and jobs will keep your financial ship afloat. But there will be a lot of money going out of your account as well. Tuition, books, gas, insurance, rent, and food can put a dent in your finances.
Take the time to make a budget and review it weekly. There are a ton of apps available to help you with this, so it doesn’t have to be a chore.
You’ll feel more confident every time you make a purchase. That peace of mind can go a long way during a hectic school semester!
Be Careful with credit
Do a quick scan of the internet for student credit cards. You’ll find some of the interest rates can reach a whopping 26.99%. That means you pay $50 interest on every $100 you carry if you make the minimum monthly payment. So that widget you bought for $100 really costs you $150 by the time it is paid off!
It’s tempting to just reach for the credit card, but there are things you can do to give you time to think before you make a purchase. For example, try freezing your card in a cup of water. Then, while it thaws, you’ll be able to decide if you really need the item you are getting ready to buy.
That might sound a little extreme, but creating friction between you and debt can help you keep more money in your pocket.
Finding a job
Speaking of keeping more of your paycheck, why wait until you graduate? The right part-time job can do just that.
Finding a job on campus or close to where you live to save on fuel expenses. On-campus jobs often have flexible schedules that can be a stressbuster when juggling classes, work, and social life.
Keeping more of your money
You’re on your way. You’ve got a budget, your credit is in check, and you’ve scored a job that is easy on fuel.
Now, hang on to some of that money. Most of the things you buy in college only last for that year, and there are tons of deals on everything from cheap food, to used books, to used furniture.
Take the time to hunt down deals, and you’ll keep more of your hard-earned cash.
Putting it all together
College can be stressful at times, but controlling your cash can bring you some much-needed peace of mind. So take the time to look for budgeting resources on the internet, treat that credit card as a last resort and watch for deals on the things you buy.
Before you know it, you’ll be ahead of your finances and smiling all over campus.