Learning how to manage money in college is important – maybe even critical – especially if you are a freshman. There is a good chance that you are just getting the hang of spending money independently, so you want to find ways to avoid over spending, sinking yourself into debt and you want to find ways to build your credit. When you graduate from college, you want to have at least some credit. What happens if you want to lease a car or an apartment? What happens if you want to buy a house? If you don’t have credit when you graduate, it will be tough to transition into your new life with a degree. When you are a freshman, you are in a good place, because it is the ideal starting point for developing good money management skills. Here are four money management tips for college freshman.
1. Find Ways to Get Discounts
When you are a freshman, you won’t have that much spending capital. This is why you always want to keep an eye out for discounts and bargains. This is especially the case for items you may need for school, like textbooks and supplies. For instance, you may want to go to a bargain bin bookstore, or look online, for affordable textbooks. If you are trying to furnish your apartment or dorm, you may want to head to yard sales or thrift stores. You may also be able to find items on the street that are free. A good brushing off of these items and they may be perfectly usable.
2. Use a Credit Card to Build Credit
Another important money management tip to keep in mind is that you want to use a credit card to start building up credit. Not only will a credit card help keep you afloat when you need things like groceries or other supplies – it will slowly boost your credit score. It does this by measuring how and when you pay your credit card bill. If you are constantly paying off your credit card bill, on time, at the end of the month, you should be in good shape. By the time you graduate, you should have a really strong credit score.
3. Be Mindful of Loans to Avoid Debt
Whether you are going to Maryville University or UC Irvine, you want to be sure that the debt you are putting yourself into to go through your college degree program is worth it. The last thing you want is to graduate and have to spend the next few years just trying to crawl out of the debt. If you can’t afford to have debt, you may want to apply for grants.
4. Create Financial Limits
On top of everything, you want to create very strict financial limits for yourself. For instance, if you have a very strict food budget, you probably don’t want to go out and purchase video games or other superfluous things. In the end, all of these superfluous costs can wait until you have saved enough money to pay for them – in the meantime, you want to stick to priority expenses.