EASY MONEY>5 TIPS
Money Tips for College Students
College is a good time to learn about handling money responsibly. It’s also an easy time to fall into the traps of overspending, abusing student credit cards, and driving the family car to ruin. Here are five important ways to be fiscally smart during your college years.
1. Start a budget. Your teenage years are a great way to train yourself the ways of money. And the most basic tool is a budget. Since you really won’t have a complicated financial life, we’re talking about just a few expense categories. What’s important is you start the discipline of tracking your expenses and allocating your allowance. Master this and adulthood will definitely be easier.
2. Find cheap thrills. Avoid the rich (or wannabe rich) crowd who likes to hang out at Starbucks every afternoon, shop for designer clothes every week, and party at expensive clubs every weekend. Instead, attend free concerts, cheap indie films, and affordable sports activities offered on campus. Plus you’ll be around a lot more interesting people.
3. Get active. Aside from taking your classes seriously (sure, you can skip every now and then), join campus organizations that promote sports, culture, and the arts. Take the lead. Not only will it look good on your resume, honing your leadership skills this early will help fast track your career. That means higher income in the future.
4. Welcome limits. It may be one of the hardest things to accept, but limits set by your parents and other authoritative figures are actually for your own good. You may hate it but the curfew, fixed cell phone load allowance, allowable class absences, credit card limit, and the like will help you balance freedom and responsibility. Learn self-control and delayed gratification now and avoid a doomed future of living paycheck-to-paycheck and digging yourself into debt.
5. Make smart decisions. Your college years will give you your first taste of independence. And given your need to belong, you are susceptible to temptations and experimentations. You don’t have to be the killjoy or the prude in your class. But you can have fun without making a mistake you will regret for the rest of your life. The small decisions that you make – smart and dumb – will impact your personal happiness and financial future. Don’t mess it up.