No one has ever accused me of being amazing at handling money. It's not that I have a spending problem, I just don't pay attention to the money I spend. Most girls spend money on clothes and shoes, but I'm that girl that was spends money on books and food. While my money habits haven't exactly gotten better, my money management skills in college were absolutely horrible. I had periods of not even having a job and how I survived is a mystery to us all.
I think the best thing that came out of my bad spending habits in college is that I was able to learn what not to do when I finally entered the "real world" and had to start paying for things like water and electricity. I guess my only complaint would be that I never learned these things in a classroom. Seriously, can they teach a life class in college that prepares us for filing taxes and dealing with landlords?
1 | PLAN AHEAD
The majority of my college career was spent living off of my income checks. These were the checks that I received after my scholarships and loans paid for my school expenses. I received one of these every quarter, and the beginning of the quarter was spent counting down to when I would get these. I didn't have a job for a good portion of my college career, so I had to decide what things I was or wasn't going to do according to the amount of money I'd receive from my income check.
Because I only received a large sum of money at one time, I had to plan out how I was going to use it. I would put a good portion toward food (because a girl's gotta eat), but I'd also leave some breathing room for fun stuff. I lived on campus all four years of college, so I was fortunate that I didn't have to worry about paying rent or utility bills.
2 | UTILIZE CAMPUS RESOURCES
I didn't really start taking advantage of all of the things my university had to offer until my junior year. Our Tech IDs also served as debit cards of sorts, and we could use our Tech Express to purchase things on campus as well as at restaurants and gas stations around campus. If I needed ketchup but was running low on funds, I would be more likely to go to the on-campus grocery store and overpay with my Tech Express rather than use my own money because technically I already spent the money with my scholarships and loans.
Take advantage of things on campus like the gym, workout classes, the pool, free movies, cheap concerts, etc. because once you graduate, you won't have access to all of these things. Also, many places around your campus may have discounts specifically for college students. Don't be afraid to flash your student idea and use these discounts while you still can.
3 | DON'T STRESS ABOUT STUDENT LOANS
When I signed up for student aid at my school, I wasn't sure what I was doing when it came to my school finances. I think we all know that college is an expensive investment, and you should be informed about the money you're spending and know what your options are. Did you know that 3 out of 4 college undergraduates wish there was more helpful financial information available to them? I was definitely part of the former in college.
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Finances in college are no joke, which is why it's important for you to explore your options. Debt is a scary thing, and the majority of students don't even have a plan for how they plan to pay off their student debt after graduation. Before finalizing your financial decisions check with people who have knowledge about finances and explore the vast amount of sources available to you online. Managing finances in college doesn't have to be stressful.
What's a piece of financial advice that you've received?
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by College Ave Student Loans and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Endless Bliss possible!