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How to Live Within Your Means as a College Student

As a college student, it is easy to get influenced into changing your lifestyle to suit that of your peers. Mom and dad are not around to make the smart choices for you. In college life, most students make endless irreversible mistakes, especially regarding decisions involving money. Sadly, most institutions don’t teach you how to make sober financial decisions, and you can only learn how to manage your money on your own.

Read these tips from a team of bankruptcy attorneys in Philadelphia on how you can manage your money wisely in college.

1.  Always Have a Budget

There are countless times when we find ourselves spending money on things that we had not planned for. Here is where a budget list comes in handy! A budget list will not only make you accountable for your spending but also help you avoid unnecessary spending over things you had not anticipated. If you still don’t trust yourself, you can use an online calculator, which will help you set accurate financial goals and track your spending habits.

2.  Save Up

In your college years, your expenses are primarily minimal since you don’t have bills to pay. Also, during this time, you’re more privileged to get money from many sources, especially from your parents, relatives, and student loans. It will be a great idea if you instill the discipline of saving in your youthful years as it helps you save up in the future when you have many responsibilities to take care of.

3.  Get a Part-time Job

Studying can be stressful, but looking into the future, you’re actually in school so that you can secure yourself a job. Getting a part-time job will help prepare you for the outside world, making you a better time and money manager. After all, you wouldn’t want to spare the free time you could have used to have fun then eventually squander all the money.

While most take this time to entertain themselves, you can build your life positively by preparing yourself for the future market. All in all, as the saying goes, work without play makes you a dull boy, so ensure that you balance out the entertainment as you make wise decisions. After all, you’re not getting any younger.

4.  Take Care of Your Credit Score

Most students often take this lightly and forget that they will not be in college forever. Students forget that a credit card is not free money but a loan, which means you’ll be required to repay every single cent you’ve used. Well, if you’re lucky enough to use your parent’s credit card, then the burden to refund the money is not on your shoulders. However, if you’re getting your credit card, try as much as possible to do your research and settle on one with low-interest rates.

You could also use one with a low limit to only use it when you need it. Also, be responsible enough and ensure that you always pay off these debts at the end of the month. That way, you’ll be building yourself a good credit history and making a good financial standing for the future if you need to purchase necessities like a home or a car.

5.  Use Your Student ID to Your Advantage

Apart from going to school to learn, students in colleges use this time as a socialization spot. That said, students are fortunate enough to get cheaper deals out there, enabling them to save up more money. Luckily enough, these deals are essentially given out in the entertainment sectors like movie theaters. Also, some sites offer crazy discounts, deals, or coupons, which can help you save more money when purchasing your stuff. So, could you take advantage of them?

Living below your means doesn’t mean not enjoying life. After all, we must live a balanced life. However, remember that your decisions at this point in your life will add to the foundation you set up once you clear college.  So, live life as you build your foundation wisely and set your priorities straight. Use this time to make mistakes, learn and unlearn!

About the Author

Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area.

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