BY: TATYANA SOHAN-FAGAN
For students, thinking about finances is often less than enjoyable, but that’s exactly why it can pay to learn about the role of money in education and life goals. With basic knowledge, you can begin getting a lot more out of schooling. Tyler Rims works in the Financial Aid Office at Sheridan’s Davis Campus and he has given some pointers about how students should manage their money.
1. Create a budget and stick with it.
Having a solid financial plan that accounts for all your income and expenses can increase confidence. The more you budget the better. It forces you to narrow down the things that are most important and also what is least important. Most schools have someone who can assist in setting up a budget or putting you in touch with a mentor.
2. Track your spending
Part of having a budget means always being aware of what you’re buying. Unplanned splurging on extra entertainment that you don’t need makes it hard to reach the outcomes you’re going to school to achieve. Ask yourself is it worth it. Take notes of what you make and also what you spend.
3. Shop smart for textbooks
Textbooks are one of the biggest college expenses. A brand new edition of a textbook can cost up to $100 or more. Invest in a Kindle or iPad and download your books – they are less expensive that way. Or look for used books in stores or online. Even with shipping costs, the price can turn out to be significantly cheaper.
4. Set up a savings plan
Saving any amount of money as a student can be a real challenge. But you should try to get a savings account anyway. You may need your savings later on when looking for work in your new field, setting up new living arrangements, or when being presented with an unexpected opportunity that requires an investment.
5. Beware of credit cards.
If your bank offers you a credit card, think about it. Think about if you are financially stabled to pay back a credit card each month. Credit card companies end up getting a lot of students into financial trouble. It’s true that building good credit is important. But, as a student, you should probably only get a credit card if you know that you’ll be able to pay your balance in full each month.
6. Be mindful of exactly how much debt you’re taking on.
Any time you’re signing up for student loans, it’s smart to know the amount you’ll have to pay back. Will the salary you earn in your new career be enough to let you comfortably repay your loans? Be conservative.
7. Learn how financial aid works.
Many students have little or no understanding of this subject. But it can truly pay to take the time to learn about all forms of financial aid.