With a little discipline, financial success can be achieved during college.
According to the results of a study conducted by Inceptia, a division of the National Student Loan Program, financial stress is a sad reality for college students. Given the rising cost of education and the huge amount of student loan debt, most students are worried about the cost of education, borrowing money to pay for college, trying to find a way to repay loans, and finding a job right after graduation.
To ease the stress and help you work your way through college without raking a ton of debt in the process, here are some simple yet effective tips that can help you manage your money better and achieve financial success during your college years.
Put a clear line between needs and wants. You can only achieve financial success if you can clearly distinguish between needs and wants. While this sounds simple enough, a lot of young people find this to be extremely difficult. Keep in mind that needs are those things that you absolutely cannot live without while wants are the things that would be great to have but are not necessary for survival. Cut out vices (they are expensive and would not do you any good), resist the urge of making impulse purchases and look for more affordable entertainment.
Create a budget, and stick to it. Identify all the expense items you will have, create a monthly budget, and track your spending to make sure you are sticking to your budget. If you don’t do this, you will most likely run out of money before you run out of month. Be realistic when creating a budget and make sure it is aligned with your goal and values. For best results, review your budget at the end of each month and recalculate once every three to six months.
Save everything you can. Put all small change in your pocket in a jar at the end of the day and deposit it into your account at the end of the semester. Keep in mind that little things add up in time.
Live like a student. Working too many hours to get the money you need to pay for your car, clothes, gadgets and entertainment can easily increase the number of years you need to get your diploma. So, live as cheaply as you can so you don’t have to work too hard. Eat in the cafeteria and limit the number of times you eat out, consider getting the most affordable phone plan available, and shop in stores that offer student discounts.
Follow these tips and you can surely increase your chances of achieving financial success during your college years.