Maybe you’re entering college without financial decision making for the first time this fall. Perhaps you’ve been in college for a few years, but you’re at the point where you need to think about how to make your money last. Either way, becoming more financially responsible is never too early and never too late, or learning how to make sound financial decisions can potentially save a lot of headaches down the road.
That said, be warned: financial decision-making isn’t always as straightforward as we think. And because of this, I believe it’s best to compile small pieces of information on various subjects rather than dive in headfirst with the most critical information first.
So, take the headache out. These three financial decision-making tips will help you develop your priorities and organize your finances. Let’s get started!
Developing Priorities and Organizing Finances
As a new college grad or incoming freshman, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed and confused as to how to organize your finances. How do you set priorities and decide where to allocate funds? Or maybe you don’t even know where to begin when it comes to making a spending plan.
What are the three types of financial decision making?
Besides having good grades and being an outstanding student, right? It’s how you organize your finances. Here are three tips to make sound financial decisions while in college:
1. Create a budget
As much as college life is filled with competing concerns like assignments, classes sometimes work, you can squeeze some time and create a budget. Remember, a budget is vital in giving you an easy time for sound financial decision-making. A budget is a powerful tool to help you spend less or within limits and avoid prompt shopping and wasting money that could take you through another day.
So, even if you stay in the hostels or have your apartment, you can measure what amount of money goes into all that. Calculate how much you spend on rent, food, entertainment, and other general shopping. Then always have some set-aside cash for emergencies; you never know when they come, remember. You can save about $100 for that.
The good thing is that you can find help about budgeting from college resources. They explain the standard housing cost and general campus life.
Therefore, create a realistic budget; keep reviewing t monthly to ensure you remain on track and have time to fine-tune as desired.
2. Find a job while on campus.
One of the most challenging parts of college is that sometimes you have a lot of free time and not much money to spend. For many, the best way to fill this void is to find a job on campus. Working part-time can help you learn valuable skills, meet new people, and even pay for things like books or an occasional night out.
In addition, you’ll gain enough experience before getting into the job market. And while it builds up your CV, you can land yourself decent jobs and scholarships in the future. Besides, you get to develop, manage, prioritize and organize your finances and time. You can save up handsomely well for your future endeavors, and you’ll never have to deal with debts.
So, instead of stalking your friends on Instagram, there are numerous jobs you can begin with, for instance, part-time working at a call center or participating in a psych experiment. Most of these opportunities offer flexible schedules and allow you to study when done.
How can I get these opportunities to help me in financial decision making? Keep asking around. You may not find these jobs advertised anywhere, but you may contact them from personal referrals, from friends, etc.
3. Cutting down on expenses
There are many things you want to enjoy besides the fun part when you’re on campus, like parties and hanging out with friends. Of course, food and drinks are the essential things on your list but remember the cost of living is usually high. Using a buying club or bartering to buy, samples studies have shown that buying out all the staples and other miscellaneous items can save a considerable amount of money.
Cut down where you can and save some money. Through my years of school, I’ve learned that having some savings set aside makes it a lot easier to take an impromptu road trip with friends or buy the latest video game without suffering through the “will they/won’t they” phone call with your parents.
You want to be on the financial decision making table? Here is the bonus tip!
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Every college student knows that it doesn’t come cheap living on campus. Tuition, books, and other academic necessities can add up to thousands of dollars in just one year. Please, consider having a plan for financial decision making. There’s also the cost of transportation, food, and housing. Unfortunately, it’s a part of most students’ budgets to work on-campus part-time or full-time to help cover the expenses. For some students, working on campus is their only source of income and can serve as an invaluable experience to learn valuable skills and gain real-world experience.