As a new college student, you will get to meet dozens of people, have novel experiences and finally be independent. But with all of these advantages come a few drawbacks and money management is one of them. Whether you’re getting ready for your first year of college or you’re already a student, these tips will shed some light on some frequent money mistakes you must avoid.
5 MONEY MISTAKES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
#1: Not Allotting a Budget for Each Week
It can be easy to spend more money than you should, especially if you are using a credit card. The best way to stay on top of your spendings is to make a weekly budget and stick to it religiously. It might take a few weeks to figure out the right sum to allot for each week so you’ll find it helpful to use a budgeting app that is super user-friendly and does all the work for you.
Staying within a budget will help you stay in control of your finances and make sensible decisions. For instance, instead of paying $30 for a meal at a restaurant, you can buy groceries for the entire week and cook at home.
#2: Allowing Peer-Pressure to Make You Spend More
Spending nights out, vacations or events might seem irresistible when your peers are pressuring you. But if you give in, you risk putting a serious dent in your budget and maybe never recover from it. Instead of spending exorbitant amounts of money on shopping or SPAs, find cheaper alternatives that are still fun but don’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Instead of going to see a movie at the cinema and paying for the ticket, popcorn and a beverage, watch a movie with your friends on your TV, make your own snacks and ask everyone to pitch in for drinks. There are dozens of free events, tours, festivals and even movie screenings in all major cities. Keep an eye out for them on Facebook and save money while still having fun hanging out with your friends.
#3: Renting an Entire Apartment on Your Own
Students have a lot of expenses and rent takes out a significant chunk of money from your budget each month. While it’s more comfortable to live on your own, sharing a place with roommates or living in a student house is more convenient and helps you save a lot of money in the long run.
Besides the financial benefits, sharing an apartment has other advantages. You have the opportunity to make new friends and meet new people. Roommates will help you combat homesickness and can even help you study or revise for exams. It’s also easier to share the responsibilities or household chores between the roommates. For instance, one person can pick up the groceries, while the second one cooks and the third cleans up.
#4: Not Getting a Job or Internship
Attending college can be hectic, however, finding a great internship, a part-time job or even working from home as a freelancer has several benefits. Not only will you have more money to save towards paying off college debt, you will also accumulate work experience, develop interpersonal skills and acquire precious references from employers.
If you don’t have a flexible study schedule, you can still find work as a freelancer, working on your computer whether you are on campus, at home, or visiting your relatives for Thanksgiving. Depending on your skills and preferences, you can work as a freelancer writing articles or resumes, editing and proofreading documents, tutoring kids, web designing, completing surveys or captioning videos.
#5: Not Searching for the Best Price Before Buying
Not everybody bothers to look for the best prices and most college students prefer a fast, convenient purchase rather than a sensible, well-thought and researched buy. Failing to research whatever product you intend to buy will sabotage all your economizing attempts. This is why it’s essential to do your homework whether you are buying groceries, a gym membership or a new laptop.
There are a plethora of forums on the internet sharing best prices, sales, coupons and discounts. Make it your priority to compare prices and always look at different vendors before acquiring something. When possible, buy second-hand items that are in good condition and cost a fraction of the regular price. Refrain from making impulse purchases and, most importantly, never go grocery shopping hungry.
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AUTHOR’S BIO: John Stuart works on behalf of andrewchell.com in outreach and content creation. He creates engaging content that help businesses connect with their audience and stand out from the crowd.
Well, I hope you all enjoyed this post! If you could identify with any one of the mistakes mentioned, be sure to leave a comment sharing your thoughts and if you found this article helpful.