Managing your money in college can be an extremely daunting task, but you are NOT alone and there are so many easy ways to do it! By being smart with your money and properly preparing and organizing your fees and finances, you are more than capable of being financially sound in and out of college.
Here is a quick guide to fees and finances for a full-time college student that likely apply to you!
BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET
The number one most important aspect of wisely organizing your fees and finances as a full-time college student is through properly budgeting. This is something that you have probably been told so many times, but it is time to actually do it. As a full-time college student myself, I have found that budgeting is the BEST way to put the importance of organizing money into perspective.
By listing out your monthly income, savings, and any sort of extra incoming money, you can then use that amount to weigh that out with your expenses. In doing so, you are able to manage your money in a way that is helping you on a monthly basis and possibly increase your monthly savings.
Make Sure to Fully Research Financial Aid
It is common knowledge that many college students graduate and are then stuck paying for their student loan payments. This is why it is SO important to make sure you do your research NOW and know exactly what sorts of expenses you are getting yourself into when taking out student loans as a full-time student.
By understanding what the exact size of your student loan debt will be when you graduate, you can then come up with an achievable plan on how you will pay it back.
Be Smart About Buying Textbooks
Textbooks are a major expense when it comes to being a full-time college student. This being said, there are certainly great ways that you are able to take a chunk out of these expenses by being smart about buying/renting textbooks.
Check out this article to find out more about specific tips and tricks on how you can save serious money on your college textbooks.
Get a Job!
By working in college, you are able to grow your monthly income, which can then help you save more on a monthly basis. The more you save, the less you have to borrow, it is truly as simple as that. This chain reaction proves the impact that this also has on financial aid and student loans.
Another major factor weighing on the importance of working in college is that it can be a major resume builder that can help you jump into a career upon graduating, which will obviously help with your fees and finances on the long term scale of things.
Identify Wants vs. Needs
This is one of the most difficult aspects of managing your money as a full-time student, due to the ease of spending money on social activities such as eating out with friends or even grabbing a quick coffee before class.
While this does not mean that you are never able to splurge on going out to a nice restaurant or getting your nails done, it just means that you should BUDGET these sorts of activities. This goes back to the first point made in this article, “BUDGET, BUDGET BUDGET.”
By separating a portion of your monthly income to your “wants” you will then have the required amount planned and left over for the needs that you have every month!
Apply for Scholarships
It can be easy to think that scholarships are reserved for individuals with perfect SAT scores and GPAs, but that is so far from the truth. There are millions of scholarships available to full-time students each year, many of which are left unapplied to.
Your university likely has a link on their school website to visit different scholarship applications, so it is definitely worth checking out! If you can’t find these on your own, talk to someone! Make an appointment with your advisor and figure out which scholarships would be applicable to you!
Just Be Smart
Sure, college is EXPENSIVE, but that does not mean that you have to be left with loads of debt after graduation. Be smart and plan ahead!
By following this guide to fees and finances for a full-time student, you are able to be smart and proactive in managing your money NOW so that your fees and expenses will not be able to catch up with you later on!