Saturday, March 28, 2015

Three Tips for College Money Management

Money management can be a tricky thing when you're young. As my oldest daughter just turned 18 in December, she will soon be on her own and off to college. That means that she will be free to make her own financial decisions as well. I can only hope that I've taught her well. The trick with finances is this: You can't be careless!


You are never too young to start learning to save money and invest it wisely. If more people learned these skills at an early age, there would not be the large amount of people in difficult financial situations as they grow older. Unfortunately, young people and college students are not always surrounded by adults who can effectively mentor them when it comes to financial matters. These young people are left to fend for themselves, learning as they go, and sometimes - learning the hard way. 


This is the postcard we just received in the mail from CSU, Sacramento.
Yes, I snapped a picture of it!


California State University, Sacramento is one of the colleges on my daughter's list of possible schools to attend. She received her acceptance letter a few weeks ago. If she decides on this school, I will stress the importance that she and anyone else in the area should learn money management and the importance of buying insurance in Sacramento even more. Bills are going to be a fairly new thing for her, and it's important that she budgets and takes into account all of the necessities, like insurance, because it's not always something we think about right away - especially if it hasn't been an expense in the past, but now will be.

Being young and newly independent can be exciting, but young adults need to know that money matters are very important. Below are three more tips for college money management.

1. Student Loans: Remember that you have to pay them back!

Attending college is costly. Students should apply for as many scholarships as possible. People say it's "free money," but really, it is money earned by way of an application process and writing essays. However, scholarship money IS money that does not need to be paid back. Every little bit helps, and scholarships are a great way to help pay for college costs.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) due date is always March 2nd for the state of California. My daughter and I went to a Financial Aid Info Night at her school about a month ago, where we submitted the online application, and she was entered for a scholarship giveaway. (That's right, all we had to do was attend the event, and she was entered. We're still crossing our fingers!) This application counts for both state and federal funds, for grants (which do not have to be paid back) and student loans.


A photo posted by 2justByou (@2justbyou) on

If planning to go to a four year institution, student loans are probably going to be needed. Students should have a goal to borrow as little as possible, because this money will have to  be paid back. This is why scholarships, grants, and spending money wisely are so important. 

Paying off student loans is the primary financial burden for many young people. It is critical to pay these off as quickly as possible in order to gain financial stability. If possible, pay more than the minimum payment allowed. If you only pay the minimum, you will end up paying an enormous amount in interest. Why give so much money to your lender? Make paying off your student loans your number one priority.

2. Do not use credit cards, unless in an emergency.

It is common on many college campuses for credit card companies to set up booths in an attempt to attract students to apply for their cards, many times offering incentives for signing up - a free t-shirt, or something else. This is usually as easy as taking candy from a baby. These students, on their own for the first time in their lives, can be very naive and impressionable when it comes to the world of finances. They have been supported by their parents all their lives. Therefore, they are not aware of the dangers of credit card abuse and the devastating effect it can have on the rest of your life. 

One credit card is OK to use if you are caught in an emergency situation without any cash. You certainly do not need more than one! If you do buy something with a credit card, pay the entire balance immediately to avoid any interest being added to your total. If you must make monthly payments, pay the maximum amount that your budget can handle. Paying off the credit card needs to be a priority. Having good credit is important.



Simple. Classy. Everyday.




* The above is a collection from my favorites at my Polyvore.



3. Avoid frivolous purchases.

When you are young, it is OK to enjoy yourself every once in a while. 
However, you should also be concerned about the future. It's so easy to live in the moment, but try to avoid spending money on foolish items that you might not want and are never going to use, or that you know you can't afford. Do you really need that new outfit? Probably not. Make smaller purchases over a period of time instead of splurging on a shopping spree all at once. 

Budget your money wisely and focus on saving at least one-third of any money you earn. Developing this type of discipline when it comes to money will benefit you greatly in years to come. It becomes a habit, a good one, that you will be thankful for later.


Those are just a few quick tips for money matters in college. 
What financial advice would you give to a college student on his/her own for the first time?




***Disclosure: Thank you for supporting my blog and letting me share sponsored content with you from time to time. This is a paid sponsored post. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 10 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.



Pin It

31 comments :

Miss Val's Creations said...

Awesome tips Kim! My tips would be the same. One of the smartest things I did was live at my parents after graduating college and paying off those student loans with my first full time job.

Elephant's Child said...

When I first went away from home to study my father told me that for a month I should write down everything I spent. No matter how small. I did - and was amazed at how much I essentially 'wasted'. Lunches on campus were costing me a fortune and weren't as nice as those I could make for myself for example...

Memories for Life said...

Such great tips on such an important subject. I think this should be a class in school! Budgeting is something that never gets taught and you have to learn it on your own...and sometimes the hard way!
I like your tip on not buying frivolous things. They may seem cool, but those purchases add up!

Van said...

Love these. And I'd say:

1) Try to start a little biz of something you're interested in on the side for experience- and to earn a little income. (2) Eating out (the famous college kid pizzas and beers) costs a fortune. Learn to make your own food. You'll save tons and have some extra spending money for fun stuff. (3) Use thrifts.

I may need to write a spin-off on this :) Agreed on the frivolous buys- buy something you'll use or don't buy it.

Christie Cottage said...

Wonderful tips!

The frivolous shopping is probably the best! So many "students" spend their money on expensive coffee shops, and other non-essentials and then they call home!

<><

Isobel Morrell said...

All those tips, Kim - plus those in the comments to date are valid. I'd add one more: always make a list before going shopping (whether for groceries or other incidentals) and STICK TO IT!

Until you've got the hang of that DO NOT wander away from the straight path. Eventually, it becomes second nature (both my girls - now in their 40's- still do it and it's saved them hundreds.) Occasionally, if a special deal on ESSENTIALS comes up, a case can be made to go for it - but not EVERY ONE, or EVERY WEEK!

Denysia Yu said...

I totally agree with this, and to make sure that when your daughter goes to college, to eat meals that will save her money. For example, don't always go eat at fast food places, those places add up in costs. If anything learning to cook a meal for yourself is beneficial to anyone!

One thing I did when I was younger, was host potlucks, where everyone brings a dish to a gathering, and those usually ended up being really popular, and good because you can try out different dishes that others made!

Kristin Aquariann said...

Great tips! I have several friends that are still trying to pay back student loans, years after graduating.

lorenabr said...

Fabulous tips! Now that I will be a mom soon it;s something I will have to deal with.
When I did university, all I needed to do is study hard and pass exams to stay fee free. It worked :)
http://inkandlacedesigns.blogspot.com.au/

Savory Experiments said...

All great advice! Students loans will be the death of me, I'm fairly certain. It always pissed me off how credit card companies made it so easy for college kids to get a line of credit.

Hena Tayeb said...

great tips..

Melissa at bubbyandbean.com said...

These are great tips! My parents refused to let me get a credit card in college and I'm so glad now.

Marilyn Clark said...

These are such great tips!

La Vie En May said...

Great tips Kim! Certainly things I followed just a few years ago! I am actually creating a similar post next week. I think everyone's in the financial mindset after paying their taxes LOL!

Katie Crafts said...

Very good tips! I used to sell back my books at the end of the semester and use the money I got back as if it was a payday. I should have put that money immediately into a savings account to help with loans once I graduated! When the loans begun two months after college was over, I was NOT ready! (and ten years later, I'm still paying them!)

Natalia Khon said...

Great tips! I know one more... try and win some scholarship, but I know it is not that easy..

Debra Hawkins said...

These are all such great tips! We are still paying my student loans, but we are almost there!

Rea T said...

these are really wonderful tips kim!!
thanks for sharing♥

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

Excellent tips that I'll have to share with a few college students that I know!

like mother like daughter said...

I could've used these tips when I was in college!

The Art Bug said...

These are Great tips, so handy for the students!
Thanks for sharing, and much thanks for featuring my outfit set:)

Theresa Sutton said...

Wonderful post! I just graduated two years ago, and I cringe when I think about some of my friends and classmates. I opted to go to community college first and pay for those first few years out of college. By the time I was ready for University, I qualified for financial aid. I took out small loans to help with living expenses.

I didn't live like the Jones, and I'm so thankful for that. I know people who will probably never pay off their students loans (or those credit cards for that matter). I wish they taught teens how to manage credit/money in high school. I feel like that's more practical than learning algebraic expressions.

Stephanie Pass said...

Great tips! My oldest will be off to college in 2 years. I just hired her as my blog assistant, and I got her the student Paypal card, which is how I pay her. She seems pretty responsible. She holds onto her money forever.

Jillian@FoodFolksandFun said...

These are some great tips!

Rebecca Brosemer said...

I wish I had this information when I was in college!! Thanks for sharing :)

Britney Mills said...

Such great advice! I was pretty frugal in college because that's all the money I had but these will help out those that don't know anything about money when they first go to college!

Lisa C said...

I would add get a job. If you qualify for work-study, you have a huge selection of jobs. If not, many campuses have other jobs for non-work study. Even working 10 hours a week will offset the living costs of college.

Layne Quintanilla said...

Great tips -- and I love that super cute outfit. The purse is darling!

Marieken Hoefnagel said...

Great tips! About the frivolous purchases, I still do this: whenever I see something fun I don't buy it right away, but I wait a couple of days, and most times, I do not feel like I need it anymore :-) If I still feel the need to have it, I add it to my wishlist for my birthday or christmas.

Michelle Nahom said...

All great tips! I have one heading off to college this year and the thing that worries me the most is the fact that they get bombarded with credit card offers, and the last thing I want him to do is get himself in trouble with spending money he doesn't have. Hopefully I have taught him well. He seems to be fairly conscientious about money, but it still worries me.

Britni Vigil said...

I wish I'd known these tips when I was going to college!