Managing finances is one of the major challenges that young adults face during their college days. And for many teenagers, college is their first encounter with managing money on their own.
While it is widely recorded that financial pressure is having a grave impact on the students and is leaving many young adults struggling to manage their money, the good news is that you can teach yourself about how to manage your money and avoid possible mistakes responsibly.
Money management is an important skill which will not only guide you to start college on the right financial note but will also help you to save money and avoid debt in the long run.
Set-up a budget”
Preparing a budget is an extremely important step and something that you should start doing right after your admission into the University. Start your budgeting plan by listing all your needs and wants- including your monthly income, estimated expense, savings and parental allowance (if any). Also consider your spending habits and essential day-to-day expenses like (laundry, college supplies, personal care items and meal plan) while setting up your monthly budget.
Just so, preparing a budget doesn’t mean that you need to stay away from the fun. Add your “fun” expenses into your budget and spend no more than decided.
Start an emergency fund:
Starting an emergency saving fund is pivotal for anyone’s long-term financial health. No matter how small the amount might be, but the key is to make sure that you SAVE SOMETHING each month. Create a separate account for the emergency fund and aim to fund the account periodically. This emergency fund will help you to get back on your feet during the worst day so even if you could save just about $10/month, create an automatic transfer to your saving fund account so that you don’t have to think and ponder over it.
Look for cheap student housing options:
Accommodation is a huge and unavoidable cost that all the university students have to face at least once in their life. Well, if you are fresher or a first-year student and do not own the luxury of living at home, staying on-campus can be your best and cost-effective way to enjoy a full university experience. Apart from on-campus, renting out private accommodation is also one of the best options for international students.
While if you not well-accustomed with the area, you could either chat with your classmates to learn about the available options or check out some reputable letting agencies. They specialise in booking accommodation for international students in the UK including but not limited to cities Sheffield, Exeter, Belfast, Birmingham and Edinburgh.
Be aware of your student loan options:
It is very important to keep a eye on all of the available options which could lower your university cost. So if you are low on Funds, a Student loan is also a doable option. Just ask your University’s financial aid office about all the available student loan options for you and decide for yourself which one would be the best for you.
Although the student loan amount needs to be paid back along with interest, most young-adults opt for the student loans due to its easy repayment option. Also, education loan has its perks in terms of tax benefits and repayment tenure.
Bonus tip: It is always good to estimate your total student loan debt and create a payment plan well ahead of time.
Search for some part-time jobs:
It is never too early to start a side hustle and working while at the University always has its perks. Not only will it help you earn some extra cash but will also help you gain some of the valuable job experience which you could use in the distant future. The more you make, the less you will have to borrow.
The universities often offer a lot of job options for students. Contact your University about the available openings. You can either work at the university library, or you can find some part-time jobs outside the campus as well. Also, try to find a position close to your student accommodation which will not only save you travelling cost but will also save your travel time.
Look for student discounts
Being a university student comes with its perks, including student discounts. Local vendors, restaurants, bars, clubs and supermarkets usually offer student discounts for the university students- All you have to do is flash your id-card! What’s more, searching for discounts, students will also learn the value of chasing down bargains.