By: Bryan Lee, UHEAA
Pursing post-secondary education is NOT just about getting your degree or diploma. College is a great time to develop different habits such as how you budget your time, budget your money and much more.
Today, I want to share some money saving habits that you can learn while you’re in college that will help you throughout your life.
Keep in mind that if you want to use any money saving habits below, you have to master one thing—discipline. You’ll be able to easily adapt these money saving habits if you have control over how you manage your money.
1. Credit Cards: They can be necessary and beneficial to help you build your credit or for emergencies, but beware, they can turn into money-sucking machines if you’re not responsible. Talk to your parents before deciding if you want a credit card and if you want to save money as a student don’t get into unnecessary debt, no matter how great it looks. You don’t want past charges to follow you around.
2. Pay Bills on Time: Put it this way, you make companies richer when you lose track of your bills and payment due dates. The extra money you on pay interest because you forgot could be used for food, clothing or you could save it for rainy day.
3. Spend less than you earn. No matter how much we want it to be, money isn’t free. Don’t use student aid, like student loans, for non-school related items. Remember, if you’re a full-time student you should spend most of your time completing your degree.
4. Rent Textbooks: If you’re like me and you like to keep your textbooks this tip may not work for you. If not, rent books through Amazon or from the library. It can save you money and the hassle of going to the bookstore.
5. Budget: Always have a budget no matter what you do. Learn to stick to a realistic budget and you’ll have more flexibility with your money.
6. Protect your identity: Save your money and protect your identity. Don’t be a victim of identity theft because you may be left holding the bill even if someone else used your information. Take precautions like using strong passwords, keeping your Social Security number safe, and don’t give your information to people you don’t know, no matter how trustworthy they appear.
The habits you make as a college student will be with you for a long time. Now is the perfect time to learn discipline in your finances. Making smart decisions as a college student can help you meet your financial goals and avoid trouble.