How to Financially Survive in College
As if being far from home and having to get accustomed to all these new people and living conditions were not difficult enough, college students often face financial issues which completely shift their focus from their studies. To help you overcome financial challenges that you are facing as a student, we have come up with a list of tips that will help you improve your finances.
Search for scholarships
Your college offers many student aid programs that you probably don’t know of. Ask around and you will definitely find grants, awards and bursaries that you can use to pay for your student fees, accommodation and other expenses. There are also many companies out there such as Tech Live Connect that can help you with finding and applying for scholarships.
Set up a budget so your child can manage money
Prepare your child to manage their finances, so they don’t end up spending all of their cafeteria flex dollars in the first month of school. Student loan debt statistics show that families who plan and budget for college finances borrow 30% less than those who go to school with no financial plan or preparation. Considering the average 2016 graduate had $37,000 in debt after college, it could take 20 years or more to pay off student loans that size.
Keep track of your spending
Even though you have made a plan, there are always some unexpected expenses that can unbalance your budget. To have a real picture of your spending, write down every single thing that you spend your money on.
Cut out what you don’t need
If your financial situation is not satisfactory, you should consider giving up things that are not necessary. But it is essential to be honest with yourself. You will be surprised when you find out how much money you have been spending on the things you have never actually used.
Buy used textbooks
Just like with clothes, used books and textbooks are significantly cheaper than new ones. Who cares if there are a few underlined paragraphs in it? As long as you are able to read it, it is good enough.
Get a part-time job
If you don’t spend a lot of time studying, the best thing you can do is find a part-time job. This can be a job on campus, at a local store, or even online. There are a number of ways to earn money online. For example, paid surveys are very popular nowadays and they can help you earn some extra money if you have enough time and like working from home.
Make Some Investments
Steadily saving money is one way to go if you’re trying to build a college fund. However, if you want to grow your fund further, considering some investments is a good idea. You’ll be able to contribute more to your savings, perhaps for other purposes as well as a college fund. Investing might come with risks, but if you avoid all risks, you won’t be able to save as much. You can get professional help if you’re not sure what you’re doing. After a while, you’ll be more familiar with investing and feel more confident about making decisions.
If you follow these tips, or at least some of them, you will see your finances improve in the next couple of months. Just be disciplined.