As young adults make the move from high school to college, they are faced with new challenges, including learning to independently manage their personal finances. Even though college life can be busy and time-consuming, it’s also a great time for young adults to learn to take control of their finances. These are five great personal finance tips any college student can use today!
1. Find a Bank that Caters to College Students
While in college, you’ll need a bank account to organize and keep track of your finances. Of course, every bank offers checking and savings solutions, but you’ll particularly want to look for banks that offers accounts specifically designed for college students. These bank accounts usually come with perks such as monthly fee waivers and no minimum balance. You’ll also want to use a bank that has a user-friendly app so that you can keep an eye on your finances around the clock.
2. Pay Attention to Your Credit
By the time you’re of age to attend college, you’ll also be of age to begin receiving credit card applications from countless lenders.
As a rule of thumb, you should always keep in mind that credit cards should never be equated to “free money.” Credit cards come with a repayment agreements, varying levels of interest, differing terms, and much more. Furthermore, credit cards are designed to help you manage purchases that you can’t outright comfortably afford until a later date. Keep in mind that the higher your balance becomes on your credit card, the lower your credit rating will be and the more fees you’ll have to pay.
3. Don’t Rule Out Couponing
You may think your grandmother is nuts for keeping a binder full of coupons and savings, but as you emerge more into the real world, you’ll find that she might actually be onto something. There are loads of items and services you can save money on, and if you make couponing a regular habit, you can save a load of money over time.
4. Opt for Ridesharing and Public Transit
For a college student, a car can be a steep expense. If you live in a tight-knit college town, you can save money and still get around by just using alternative transportation methods.
5. Steer Clear of Excess Loans
Lastly (but of course, not least), you’ll find as you go through the loan application process that you’ll be offered help, but sometimes it can exceed the amount of help you actually need. Compare your loan offers to your actual tuition and book requirements, and find out if you’re being given more than what you really need. You’ll appreciate this attention to detail once the time comes to repay your loans years down the road!