If you listen to the media, the financial outlook for college students is bleak at the moment. Indeed, 70% of students are worried about their financial situation. However, while it is true that college isn’t exactly a time of abundance, there is no reason to despair. For the resourceful student willing to put in a little effort, there are many ways to manage your money to lessen the sting of debt when you graduate for an easier future.
Start budgeting now
Budgeting may sound too much like adulting to be fun, but it is a good idea to begin to take some steps now to take control of your finances. Seeing how much you spend and on what is a good place to start. If you like your tech there are some great budgeting apps you can use to track your spending.
Work part time
Regular wages from part-time work can be a great way to keep you financially afloat. According to a study from George Town University, among US college students 70% work while studying. Your parents’ generation have a resistance towards working while studying; in their day it was considered more admirable to focus solely on loan, but the financial situation for students was more rosey in those days too. This attitudes are outdated: these days there are many advantages to working while studying including getting professional experience which will help you when you enter the workforce full time and learning how to manage your time.
Consider your student loan options
The student loan ‘system’ in this country is complicated and some options are better than others. It’s worth doing some research to see if you are getting the best deal. For instance, consider whether you should consolidate student loans. If you have good credit and regular income, refinancing your loans could well be a good choice. Many students aren’t aware that a lot of these options are indeed available while you are studying. There are a lot of free student loan consolidation calculators that can help you decide whether or not you should opt for consolidation and how much you will be able to save when you do so.
Apply for funding
Even if you didn’t get funding upon your entrance to college, it’s worth going through your options again. Funding eligibility changes are your circumstances do and new scholarship opportunities crop up all the time, especially smaller awards. Every little helps.
Going to college is a huge financial investment but if you take some steps to manage your money now you can get your finances in shape for a better future. It might not be the carefree attitude you wish for in an ideal world but you will learn skills on the way that will serve you well in the future.