4 Tips You Need to Effectively Manage Your Student Finances

July 24, 2017 at 12:08 PM Leave a comment

As a student, your sources of income may include funds from your parents, student loans, and bursaries as well as income from part time summer jobs. This money must be stretched out to pay for a semester’s worth of financial needs, which is tough to do when the majority of it will be spent on tuition and other costs associated with your education. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your educational expenses you should know that you are not alone. A national survey found that roughly 72% of all college students feel stressed about their finances. Moreover, 32% of students reported neglecting their studies at times, because of the money they owed.

While effectively managing your finances in college is difficult without full-time income, it’s certainly not impossible. Students are advised to learn how to properly manage their resources during school semesters. Such skills are not only beneficial in school but will also come in handy later in life. The tips below will improve your finances and provide life long lessons that will serve you well beyond your college years.

1. Make a budget.

It sounds cliché, but to manage your finances you’ll need to create a budget and religiously adhere to it. A good budget helps you keep track of your income streams and spending. It also helps you live within your means. A budget provides a clear picture of what you can and cannot afford. When making a budget, prioritize the things that are crucial for your education and survival such as meals and funding for your class project. Keep your spending on fun and luxury items as low as possible. Remember that while you want to have fun you do not want to get out of college with mounds of debt.

When unbudgeted things pop up and trust me they will, you need to ask yourself a few questions before deciding whether to fund them or not. Ask yourself, “Can I afford this?” “Is it that necessary?” and “Can I purchase the same item elsewhere at a cheaper price?” Think carefully about how you answer those questions and think twice before committing your scarce resources to the project.

2. Cut your phone bills.

Phone bills can quickly soar to prohibitive levels. As a student, your finances are limited and a great way to manage them would be to cut your phone bill. “How can I do that?” you may ask. Well, the first thing would be to ditch your expensive service provider for a cheaper one. Republic Wireless is widely regarded as one of the least expensive service providers in the industry. The company offers plans starting at just $15 a month.

You can also reduce the instances with which you make phone calls and instead opt for free calls on Skype. To make calls on Skype all you need is a Skype account, your PC or smartphone, and internet access.

3. Avoid credit as much as possible.

You may have a student loan that will require payment upon graduation. It will be tough enough to pay that bill after college so be careful not to add more debt to your repayment schedule. Your student loan is sufficient to see you through your years in college and you should avoid the temptation to acquire other loans or advancements from other lenders.
When you find yourself in a financial stalemate, seek help and advice from your campus finance director rather than opting for soft loans from unauthorized lenders. Such loans usually carry high interest rates and you may end up getting yourself into more financial trouble when you opt for them.

4. Keep luxuries to a minimum.

As mentioned earlier, you are in school to get an education and all your energy and finances should be directed to your studies. Avoid luxuries as much as possible. For your living quarters, consider campus housing, but if you must take up private accommodation, avoid luxuries such as a cable TV and fancy sofa sets.

In Conclusion

Life on campus can be extremely difficult with all of the tests, projects and assignments you have to attend to. It becomes significantly harder when you have to worry about balancing your budget between funding your schooling and affording life necessities. Luckily, utilizing these four tips will help you keep your spending under control so that you can keep your mind focused on your studies and not on your debt.

Michael Benson is the lead bankruptcy attorney at A Bankruptcy Law Firm, LLC. He currently holds a CPA license, a Series 7 license, and a license to practice law. Michael utilizes his knowledge and expertise to help individuals in St. Louis and Southern, IL repair their finances.

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