College costs are scary, that is a fact. However, there are many things you can do to ease the stress.
1. Cost of College
In the US, the average cost of college is $35,720. This is a per year figure so you can do the math. This astounding cost has tripled in two decades, which is nearly 3 times faster than the growth of the U.S. dollar. It is safe to say that getting a degree has become a luxury, one that too many cannot afford. So, if your parents made the effort to get you here, the least you can do is thank them by earning your degree and managing their money right.
2. Money-Management Tips for College Students
Entering college is an exciting and sometimes intimidating venture. For many, it’s the first time they get to leave the safety of their parents’ home and get to live on their own. However, money-management can make it less stressful and healthy financial habits will help you make the most out of your college experience.
Remember you have the power to chose
Salespeople will try to manipulate you to make a sale. But, if you live in a deregulated area you have power to choose your utility provider. A great way to manage and save your money is to do a price comparison of your utility and internet providers as well as all of the other services that you use. Go online and do your homework by comparing rates and deals to find the cheapest one.
Having roommates is a great idea for several reasons. Financially, you’ll be able to share expenses such as rent, bills, appliance and furniture. However, you will get much more than someone to carry the financial costs with, you might even get a friend for life as you will be together for better or worse throughout your college experience that will have its fair share of ups and downs.
Save money on supplies
Textbooks are not cheap. You can rent them from the library or if you must buy ones, you can buy used ones from older students or find them on Amazon. Sites such as eCampus.com allow you even to rent them. Downloading them in a digital format is even cheaper.
Differentiate your needs from your wants
Although getting your morning coffee might seem like a need as you cannot be awake to attend your lecture without it, it is still a want. Essential items are food and items you need for everyday living and hygiene, but expensive perfume does not count. Non-essential items are the ‘nice-to-have’ ones such as a new pair of shoes or a luxurious hair mask. It might be difficult at first, but once you get accustomed to living within your means, it will get easier.
Resist the desire to splurge
The sooner you learn to resist impulse spending, the better. Peer pressure will be everywhere you look and that makes it even more difficult. This is the point where you will actually want your parents to be there to tell you no. But now, the torch is in your hands and it’s up to you to strengthen your will power. If there is one thing more important that earning your college degree, it’s building your character. No degree can help you achieve your life goals without the strength of character. Companies do not want to hire someone who looks good on paper, they want someone who can solve their problems and that is why they choose people who exhibit strength of character. Managing your money and staying loyal to your goals by sticking to your budget show you have what it takes.
College is an exciting venture. But it can also be nerve-wrecking if you don’t set some ground rules. Get started on the right foot financially by setting up a budget the second you step foot onto the campus and learn to be mindful of your spending. These habits will last you a lifetime and save you a ton of headaches.