One of the biggest worries of incoming college students is money management, because for most young people, managing finances on their own is a brand new experience.
On top of meeting new people, learning something new, experiencing different kinds of fun and the freedom to do everything they want, it’s very easy for them to make financial mistakes.
That’s why it’s important for parents and guardians to teach and guide their children to make smart financial choices before they embark into this new adventure.
If you are a college student or a parent of one, here are 5 money-mantras to live by.
1. Thou shall be smart.
With freedom and independence, comes a bigger responsibility. You should be smart enough to know the consequences of your spending habits and wise enough to save money for unexpected expenses (which is actually the second mantra).
2. Thou shall prepare for unexpected expenses.
Flat tires, medical emergencies, gadget repairs – these are just few of the many unwanted expenses that can’t be avoided and can happen anytime. So make sure to set aside a few dollars every month for these unexpected expenses, because it can surely cause more trouble than you think if you’re not financially prepared for it.
3. Thou shall be thrifty.
Thou shall be thrifty, not cheap. Being thrifty means using your money and resources carefully and not wastefully. There are many thrifting opportunities if you just open your eyes like buying used textbooks, shopping in dollar stores for basic school/dorm supplies, etc. College students also have a lot of privileges on most vendors, local venues, restaurants and services, which you can take advantage of. Make sure to separate your wants vs needs and don’t spend on things that won’t value to your college life.
4. Thou shall create a budget.
Creating a budget is the key in maximizing the money that you have. Map out all your incoming money like the allowance that you get from your parents, income from a job, grants, financial aid or money from student loans. From there, categorize your expenses and make sure to STICK TO IT. Check out these budgeting apps that can help you manage your finances much easier.
5. Thou shall get a side job.
If you want to increase your savings and have more money to spend on your day to day expenses, get a side job. There are many work-study positions available for college students, as well as freelance and part-time jobs that you can apply online.