With all of the pressure that surrounds college (moving, rigorous classes, picking a major, social engagements, etc.) many of us forget that college is a time for an important life lesson in money management. Yes, now more than ever in a young person’s life it is time to practice managing and budgeting your money. Although temptations are everywhere, the decisions you make now could come back to haunt you in the end. If you need a little inspiration, checks out these 5 college money management tips below.
- Only borrow what you need. After you fill out the FAFSA for a Federal Direct Student Loan (or a loan from a private institution) you could be offered a lot of money. Please be advised, you don’t need to borrow all of what you are offered. Only borrow what you need so you don’t have to pay heavy interest on unnecessary money later.
- Use your meal plan. You paid for it so use it! Avoid buying food anywhere else. If needed, try to adjust your meal plan in the next semester so your not wasting money.
- Avoid bank fees. Make sure your bank or credit union doesn’t have minimum balance fees or ATM fees. Check out all of the ATMs you have available to you as a member surcharge free, here.
- But do you need that? It can be challenging, but try to limit your every day spending to things that you need. I know that $5 Starbucks every morning seems super important but do the math and maybe you will have a change of heart.
- Budget your money and save. If you need to pay for bigger expenses such as books or rent then you need to budget your money. Save your money each month so these types of expenses don’t seem sudden or stress you out.
Aside from these college money management tips there are a lot of ways you can save your money (Google it!). However, the most important thing to do is to create a budget and be vigilant. Make sure to check out our free online resource, MoneyEDU for budgeting tools and articles. In the end remember, live like a student now so you don’t have to after you graduate.
Cut the cost of College: Scholarships Available
The application is now open for scholarships available exclusively to members of credit unions in Minnesota. In partnership with the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Scholarship Council, members of South Metro FCU are eligible for a total of $16,000 being awarded as $1,000 scholarships. The deadline to apply is November 30, 2022. To apply and learn more about the scholarship, click here.
2022 Essay Question: “With rising costs of living, how has this impacted your financial goals and how can your credit union help you achieve them?” (Essay tips: Please share your personal story; use the specifics you identified in the preliminary questions to write your essay)
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