If you want to master your finances, you better start off as a student. You’ll be able to perfect your spending habits and set a suitable budget. Maybe, even invest for the first time before graduation. Then, you’ll enter independent adulthood with impeccable knowledge.
Let’s find out how to manage funds as a student.
Table of Contents
Set A Budget To Manage Funds
Budgeting can be burdensome, but overspending and burying yourself in debt is even worse. College is a perfect time to set the first budget in your life. Later on, it’ll be of huge help when you move cities and get a full-time job.
Some students think that budgeting will negatively impact their independence and fun. In reality, it’s just a healthy way to control how much you spend on entertainment. While having fun, you can become a responsible adult that can afford basic college expenses. Think of your monthly living expenses and create a list based on priorities. It can include:
- ● Tuition;
- ● Rent or room expenses;
- ● College supplies and textbooks;
- ● Phone and internet;
- ● Transportation;
- ● Food;
- ● Self-care;
- ● Gym;
- ● Entertainment, and so on.
Based on your priorities, you’ll know how much you’d want to earn if you’re looking for a part-time job. Moreover, you’ll see where to minimize certain expenses. To stick to your budget and track what you’re spending, use mobile apps or note them down by hand. At the end of each month, count them and adjust where needed.
Look For Part-Time Jobs
Depending on your family’s financial situation and personal goals, you might want to look for a part-time job.
However, you might be afraid you won’t be able to manage both college and a job. There’s a safe way to transition to a tight schedule. Thanks to online platforms that offer freelancing opportunities and micro jobs, college students can experience a part-time job from home.
You can complete paid surveys, write reviews, watch videos, and even test games and software during your free time. Micro tasks take up to an hour every day. They’ll let you practice time management while earning extra money.
Benefits of Part-Time Jobs
There are a lot of benefits to having a job while you’re in college. It takes graduates from three to six months to get a first job. So, you’d want to broaden your resume to quicken the process. It also lets you manage your income and learn time management.
Part-time jobs provide some healthcare benefits like paid leaves and health insurance. In addition, with a part-time job, you’ll be able to pay off your tuition without borrowing.
Whether you decide to work only during summers or a full year, don’t wait until you land the position of your dreams. Unfortunately, some students set unrealistic expectations for their first job. Instead, working any job to get income and pay the bills is recommended. At your summer job, try to work as much as possible. Extra shifts will be exhausting, but they’ll let you save some money.
Taking up a paid internship is a perfect outcome. You’ll be able to earn some money while gaining important experience for your future occupation. If you enjoy working more, get a full-time job and attend college part-time. That schedule is hard but manageable for the biggest income.
Invest To Manage Funds
Be it IRA or stocks, investments will help any college student in the long run. First of all, you can build interest by investing. Secondly, it’ll help you pay off student loans and prepare for retirement at an early age. And no, you don’t have to indulge in a full-time job to start your investing journey – just a small amount of money is enough. As a beginner, you can try:
● a high-yield savings account;
● an S&P 500 index fund;
● investing apps with stocks and EFTs;
● a Roth IRA.
Pay Off Student Loans
In 2018, two out of three individuals graduated with college debt. Indeed, your life after school will include student loan payments. Don’t fret. As long as you’ve got a budget and a part-time job, you won’t feel those few hundred monthly. Furthermore, there are a few repayment plans you can choose from!
Choose a standard student loan repayment plan if you can afford it. It’s the fastest and requires smaller interest payments. For 10 years, you’ll make equal monthly payments. Abel to afford more? Let your student loan servicer know that you can prepay loans.
You can also choose income-driven payments. These plans make your loan term longer – up to 25 years. Available plans include income-based repayment, income-contingent repayment, Pay As You Earn (PAYE), and Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE).
Conclusion: Guide to Manage Funds
College years are full of new experiences. Moving out and taking control of your newfound income can be stressful, but don’t be scared. With these tips, you’ll become financially independent in no time.