“College is fun as long as you don’t die,” – Tsugumi Ohba, Death Note, Vol 4: Love
We experience new amazing things in our college life. We make new friends, discover our passions, gain an education, secure our financial future and so on. In a nutshell, college life is a whole new world in itself. College years are one of the most crucial years in one’s life. So, it is very important for us to make the right decision at the right time to avoid further mistakes in our lives.
College life is more than having a good education and new friends. It gives us endless opportunities for our bright careers. Now, it’s up to us how we should use those opportunities to our advantage. The mistakes, which we often make in our college days can turn our finances down. So, it’s quite important for us to recognize those mistakes and keep track of our finances, in order to secure a strong financial future.
Are you making these money mistakes?
Are you a newbie at college? Then, find out the financial mistakes you should avoid in your college days.
1. Racking up credit card debts: Credit cards have become so ingrained in our daily life that we can’t even imagine a day without this plastic. For many of us, especially for college going guys and girls, it displays the symbol of their status. This showoff often overshadows the flaws behind overspending.Credit cards with high interest rates and unfavorable terms allow students to invest more money than they really have. Making every payment with credit cards will lead you into a debt trap.
2. Damaging credit score: Flaunting your credit card isn’t the end of the game. You also need to face the consequences of mishandling it. One wrong move would automatically ruin your credit score. Thus, missing out payments and overspending would make your credit score collapse.
3. The deficit of budgeting: Budgeting! Do I need to do this in my college life? Are you of the belief that economizing in your college days would make you look not so cool? Then, my dear, you are wrong. This is the most sweetest time when you can save for your future, as there is no mortgage to pay, kids to feed and other money headaches to solve.
4. Spending student loan money for unnecessary things: Student loan money is there to help you in your academics. Using that money to fund your vacation is not the right decision for you. Application of student loan money to buy unessential goods would only lead you to debt and nothing else. You might be thinking that paying off a student loan is so very easy. But, if you pile up more debts by useless spending, then repaying the loan gets more difficult as you might not get your dream job after you graduate. So, think twice before you spend your dollars.
5. Pursuing education from an expensive college: The name of your prestigious college written in your graduation certificate doesn’t lower your debts. The majority of students dream of getting educated at an expensive and prestigious college.
Does studying in an expensive college really matter? Well, it does matter to some extent, but not always. You can save the about $100,000 on your four-year degree, if you go for an inexpensive school. Another option would be to study in an inexpensive college for the first year or two and then take a transfer to a better college. By doing this, you are able to save both time and money, which would help you to complete the rest of your degree in peace.
6. Forgetting to apply for financial aid and scholarships: Often in the excitement of getting admission to a college, we forget to look for financial aid and scholarships. It’s very crucial for every student to apply for financial aid and scholarships on time. If you are a topper, then don’t forget to apply for college scholarships. Also, there are many types of scholarships available to students of different ability levels, based on a multitude of criteria. But, be aware of the financial aid scams.
Cool tips for freshers to manage money
College life isn’t just about having an education. It’s about having a strong financial, social and personal life. Here are some money management tips for college freshmen.
1. Financial Aid: If you want to grab financial aid, then you have to reapply for it every school year and sometimes each semester. Here are few handy tips to help you out.
* Use FinAid – It’s an incredible resource for financial aid, starting from scholarships to student loans.
* Take help of FAFSA – If you want to enroll yourself for financial aid, then you must submit your FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid) each year you attend college. This is also very much required to get Federal Student Loans. Professional help is often needed for filling out the required forms on your FAFSA. For this work, Student Financial Aid Services is the best association.
* Apply for CSS/Financial Aid Profile – This application, from The College Board will grant you to apply for non-Federal financial aid.
* Repay financial aid – Paying back your college financial aid is very essential. Otherwise, you won’t be able to repay it within the given time. Get help from College Financial Aid Advisors.
* Use Cheap College Finder – Use “Cheap College Finder” for great inexpensive college options.
2. Student Loans: Every student has to deal with his/her student loans. Here are some vital tools for the students who are handling their student loans.
* Free Student Loan Debt eBook – This’ll help you to get student loan easily. You can also get suggestions on how to repay your loan quickly when you are out of your college.
* Student Loans.Gov – This is the Department of Education resource of the government which helps you to get student loans and keeps track of it.
* National Student Loan Data System – This website is maintained by the US Department of Education. If you are not sure about who owns your loan or where you have sent the payments, then check it here. This keeps track of all your student loan data.
* TransUnion – Check your credit score before applying for student loans. TransUnion offers a free credit check and resources to help you boost it.
* Simple Tuition – This is the easiest online student loan application and lender on the Internet.
3. Personal Finance: College life makes us independent and this is the time when we’ve to deal with our financial issues independently. Below are some easy tips to help out college freshmen manage their finances well.
* Avoid credit cards – Credit cards will make you spend more even if you don’t have hard cash.So, if your pocket is empty, then wait for sometime to buy your favorite stuff. This won’t allow you to rack up debt.
* Look for a cheaper lifestyle –Always remember, if you save today, then you’ll have a better future. To have a debt free and happy future, look for free stuff, cheap entertainment options and so on. Try to eat in the cafeteria of your college. The food may not be delicious, but it’s cheap.
* Save and invest – Save and invest some of your dollars to multiply your finances. Use the little money which you have to your advantage.
* Budget well – Only budgeting will help you to save your dollars properly and keep track of your financial whereabouts.
* Plan for the future – College life is the apt time to prepare for your future. If you plan your life ahead, then you’ll be able to save more in the long run.
A final tip
Having fun at college is fine. But, running out of your resources for having that fun is not acceptable. It’ll only ruin your dreams and drain your pocket. So, it’s advisable to plan and maintain your finances besides enjoying your college life. This will only rescue you from a debt trap. Lastly, enjoy your new life with these handy ideas.