College Students life is fast-paced and can be pretty expensive if you choose that path. On the flip side, college is the best place to learn and adopt lifetime lessons on financial management. The habits you pick will determine whether you will be financially free or dealing with financial bondage for the rest of your life. Most students survive college on low-interest loans advanced by the government. Despite the low interest, most fail to repay even after securing jobs. All this is because of poor money management habits.
Besides the student loans, young people in college also take up part-time jobs, the most common being remote writing jobs on platforms such as Peachy Essay. They get a lot of money, but most cannot account for it.
After graduating, most people realize that they could have done better in financial management, but by then, it is too late, and they are working towards getting rid of the bad habits.
How Do Students Waste Money?
College students waste money in different ways, and these include:
The coolest kid in college is the one with the best and latest electronics. They would rather be broke but have the loudest music system and fabulous headphones. Most of these electronics are too expensive, but they would rather even sacrifice their meals to buy them. Peer pressure is real.
Junk food is readily available, but it is expensive since it is not filling. If you are not aware of your eating habits, you will eat all the time. The snacks are being sold all over the canteens, and I can assure you that it is a trap. The ice cream here, a burger there, chips altogether, they are costly. You will realize this when you sit in the evening and record all the cash you have spent on food.
Students love having fun. They are young with too much energy and enthusiasm. This fact makes entertainment top on the list of their spending overheads. Weekends are a beehive of activities in entertainment joints around learning institutions. Bars and clubs are filled to the door with students drinking and partying all their pocket money away.
Fashion is a vital thing in college and students spend a lot to buy the latest clothes, expensive jewelry, shoes, and the latest hair styles. They also tend to buy the most expensive perfumes and bags, all in a bid to compete amongst themselves. This habit later results in shopaholics, a generation of young people who go into depression when they do not have money to spend.
How can Students Manage their Finances Better?
With the temptations and pressure around money in the college environment, you can still manage your finances wisely and even save for an emergency. You need to be deliberate and work with a goal in mind. Some of the steps that you can take to ensure you do not become broke before the end of the semester include:
Living on campus is not the most incredible thing for college students, but for having a healthy financial life, you can make the sacrifice. The benefits of living on campus outweigh the challenges. The accommodation is affordable, and most of the basic amenities are provided. You will only need to come with personal effects.
Besides saving on cost, you will also be able to access the school amenities such as the library and research rooms easily. There is also the issue of enhanced safety and shorter distance to cover when attending classes. All these leave you with ample time to focus on your studies.
The other way to ensure that you have some cash to spare while in college is to have a part-time job. Sometimes, it is not about poor financial decisions, but the money is too limited. In such cases, you can take up remote work or evening work shifts or enroll in evening classes and work during the day.
College studies do not take a whole day; hence students have a lot of spare time. You can use this free time to earn some extra income. It would help if you engage in some small businesses in college, such as running a food kiosk, selling stationery, or even doing parcel delivery during your free time. Most colleges offer work-study opportunities for students who are in need.
Budget and track your expenses
You cannot account for your money effectively if you do not have a budgeting tool. Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated. It can range from a simple accounting of your daily expenditure to the more advanced budgeting where you have projections and actual figures.
The best part about tracking your expenses is getting hold of your bad spending habits. You can get rid of the money-wasting habits since they are now clear.
You should also note that budgeting and tracking are just one bit. There is the other bit of sticking to your budget, which requires high levels of discipline and self-control.
Explore Investment options
Young college students should be encouraged to invest for them to have a better future. The first step is to have a saving plan. If you initiate the habit of saving and investing this early, be rest assured that it will get better with time.
There are many investment options that you can explore as a student, and these include:
- Putting money in a high yield savings account
- Investing in securities with the help of a licensed broker
- Buy an index fund
- Invest in bonds
Before you decide on the investment vehicle that you will use, you must talk to a financial expert so that they can guide you on the best option at your level of income.
Make use of Online Libraries
Books are expensive to buy, and in most cases, they are not used beyond that particular year of study. The other significant expense that students have to put up with is the cost of printing and photocopying notes.
Most learning institutions and private entities have online libraries that the students can access for free or at a small cost. The cost of subscribing for membership is insignificant compared to buying individual textbooks for each subject.
Where you have to buy the textbooks, look out for used copies that other students might be willing to dispose of, and negotiate for a lower price. Just make sure the edition is still valid.