A Graduates’ Guide to Financial Advice for College Students Let’s face it, the majority of high school grads lack adequate money management skills. It’s just one of those things that high schools don’t teach you (but really need to).
Can I be frank?
Once I started college, I was a financial disaster (where were the articles on financial advise for college students ten years ago?!). I discovered that I was taking out school loans without even considering how I would pay them back afterwards. All that mattered at the time was what I intended to do with the money, such as go out to dine with friends, take weekend vacations, etc.
I didn’t really understand how fiscally poor some of my choices were until my junior year. Even though I worked a few part-time jobs to help me with my bills, I was ill-equipped to graduate, especially because I had thousands of dollars in student loan debt (You can read about how Im tackling that at 7 Tips for Paying Off Student Loans ).
After nearly five years of being an adult, I’ve learned a lot about money management that I wish I had known before entering college.
I wish to give my financial advice to college students because of this.
Please keep in mind that, while by no means a financial expert, I am a college graduate who has been in your position and is aware of how alluring it may be to borrow money without considering the repercussions. I want you to think about what you may be doing differently to position yourself for financial freedom in the future as you leave this page.
You get a gold star if you’re already on the right track! Continue your wonderful effort!
If you sound more like a narrative, I hope the following financial guidance will put you on the correct path.
COMPREHENSIVELY COMPREHEND YOUR FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE Most pupils stare in awe when they see a letter announcing their financial aid. It could be related to the heartfelt congratulations! They placed this money in the center of it.
Receiving financial aid is an excellent thing, but if you don’t pay attention to the specifics, it might ruin your financially. To be sure you’re prepared, read Financial Aid Tips from a Former College Student!
In the end, you need to determine how much your annual college expenditures will be. When you have a ballpark figure for that amount, check your award letter to see what grants and scholarships you were given. These don’t require repayment.
Subtract from the predicted sum you noted earlier the amount of money you earned in grants and scholarships. What you need to concentrate on is the number you still have.
THIS COULD BE WHERE LOANS GET INVOLVED If all other means of financing your college education have been exhausted (be sure to use these recommendations), You may need to take out student loans if you need the money to pay for school (Money Saving Tips for College Students: Save Thousands).
Here are some of my top pieces of financial guidance for college students: Do not. I reiterate AVOID taking out more debt than is necessary. I am aware that the financial assistance office most likely gave you a few thousand dollars more than you require. I am aware that it is alluring. Don’t do it, though!
Instead, I want you to consider each loan that was presented to you. Consider factors like interest rates, subsidized or unsubsidized status, and whether a federal or private institution is involved. Contact your school’s financial assistance office and let them know how much of the loan you actually want once you’ve determined which choice is the best one.
In this case, you’re helping yourself in several ways:
The interest on your loans won’t be as high in the future. You’ll learn how to be more frugal with your money so that you don’t have any extra payments to make. I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy yourself and buy a few things here and there; rather, I’m reminding you to be mindful with your funds and think toward the future. You won’t be tempted to splurge with the extra money that really isn’t your money at all (since you have to pay it back).
The best financial advise for college students is to plan ahead rather than in the now, if you take nothing else away from this piece. Do not be fooled by the dollar signs.
College offers a completely new degree of independence. You no longer have your parents micromanaging (or guiding, depending on how you want to look at it) your choices.
No Now it’s all up to you.
Although this freedom is frequently embraced with open arms, it frequently comes with incentives to spend more money.
Create a weekly activity fund for college students who have a tendency to overspend or are easily persuaded. You have to wait until the following week to make purchases once your funds have been depleted.
That brings me to one of my all-time advice pieces.
MAKE A BUDGET IS THE BEST FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS. Even though maintaining a budget sounds so easy, a lot of college students don’t do it.
I understand you have internet access to your bank account and a phone app that performs all calculations for you. That’s why technology is amazing!
Unfortunately, the majority of pupils don’t even use such basic tools.
You could empty your account without recognizing it if you don’t regularly check your finances.
With this FREE budgeting printable for college students, I’ve done all the work for you because I know how busy you are with your studies. This is a fantastic tool for keeping tabs on your finances, and it is specifically designed with student expenditures in mind!
NEVER GIVE UP SEEKING I believe there is an underlying presumption that once you enroll in college, you are no longer eligible to apply for outside grants and scholarships.
My financial counsel to already enrolled college students is to keep looking!
I understand that you have a busy schedule with classes and studying, but try to find a few minutes here and there to look for more financial aid. Numerous scholarships are available for upperclassmen and students pursuing particular degrees.
The following suggestions can aid you in your search:
Look into scholarships for upperclassmen. Discuss any grants or scholarships available with your financial aid personnel. Look at FastWeb or Scholarships.com websites. Look for scholarships in your field of study or major. TAKE A CLASS IN FINANCE (IF AVAILABLE) When I was in school, I would never have thought about taking a finance or investing course, but now that I’m giving financial advise to college students, I must include this on the list.
You’ll probably have the choice to invest in a 401K or other investment portfolio when you graduate and land your first job. Understanding your alternatives and the hazards involved is highly important information to have.
If your school doesn’t offer a course like this, consider looking for one at a nearby bank. Online resources that are free abound as well!
DO YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED? Make a plan with this financial advice for college students. Spend some time getting to know your finances, and don’t be shy about seeking assistance as you go. When it comes to financial management, knowledge is definitely power!
READ MORE ABOUT COLLEGE HERE! Make sure to look at the College and Career tab if you’re seeking for additional advice and information on college. Additionally, I suggest reading the following:
College Students’ Money Saving Advice: Save Thousands