For many students, money management is a challenge. Faced with the temptation of alcohol, clothing, food, late night partying and spring break trips, many students still find it difficult to stick to a budget. To stay on track financially, track costs, and reduce your expenses wherever possible you need to be fully aware of where your money goes and how you can manage the inevitable debt that will be accrued. Here is some advice and handy hints designed to help students make sure that they can manage their college and university debts a lot better.
Be Aware of the Fees
Although it may be tempting to skip a re-payment or write a check you know will bounce if funds are low, do not forget the associated costs may put you deeper in the hole. Many banks, a bounced check or overdraft could end up costing you $25 to $35 and costs will continue to accrue for each additional withdrawal. Closely monitor your bank account and also pay attention to payment deadlines.
Try Not to Use Credit Cards
The major credit card providers love to target students during their college days as they know that they operate on a small budget. During a four-year academic course you can accumulate a lot of debt and if you are only able to pay the minimum payment the interest can add up fast. Avoid ending your college course with a large credit card debt and try to avoid major credit cards entirely. With the temptation of spring break trips and other last-minute spending, debt can be built easily and quickly become debilitating.
Perhaps Sell Your Car
On many campuses, a car can add additional charges for parking, gas and maintenance fees. If you live on campus or nearby, then store or sell your car at home with your parents. This will help you to save money on gas and insurance and you might even cut back on expensive road trips if you can only rely on public transportation to get you and your friends there.
Most universities and colleges provide services for students from everything from health care to travel. Identify your high-cost areas and search for any assistance and support options that are on campus. You may find that you can get cheaper gym membership on campus or could learn that your university has partnerships with local businesses for price reductions on activities and services.
Make a Personal Budget
When you live on a fixed income or a scholarship then it is important to keep track of your out-going costs. At the beginning of each semester or term, make a budget that takes into account the money you take in and your expenses. Do not forget to consider the cost of travel, food and books for classes. When you are aware of your financial situation, it is easier to stay on track and manage your student debts and finances a lot better.