Check out a few of our top tips for getting through college with healthy financial habits and as little debt as possible.
We all know that college continues to get more and more expensive, student loan debt is terrifying and many Americans are drowning in debt.
But if you hustle and pay attention, you can graduate without the student loan debt that is crushing the many who came before you.
I know what you’re thinking though and no, none of this advice has to do with scholarships, grants, being a tech startup wonder-kid or any of that one-in-a-million advice. These are tips that literally anyone can and should do.
Check out this first of many segments about getting out of school with little to no student debt.
SELL YOUR TEXTBOOKS 📖:
Done with this semester’s textbooks? Don’t let them gather dust, put them on eBay and Amazon immediately and recover some if not all of the money you spent when you bought them. Also, if at all possible – never buy books from bookstores at your college/university. 70% of the time you can find the book on eBay or Amazon at a significant savings – just search for the book you need by the ISBN.
🎯 USE A BUDGET:
Whether you are a working student, live off your student loans or anywhere in between – you need a budget. Managing your money well should always be a priority, but even more so if you live off of your student loans. Every dollar you spend you will need to pay back later, but with interest. So find a budgeting app or tool that you like and build the habit of managing your money, now to control spending and find opportunities to save and limit your student loan burden.
📅 BUDGET FOR A FULL SEMESTER AT A TIME:
As a student you should budget for a full semester at a time. Even if you aren’t sure exactly how much money you will make because of hourly work or fluctuating student loan disbursements, know how much money you need is crucial. Calculate all of your expenses and make sure you will be able to cover the costs. If not, find ways to make up the difference, ideally without debt.
🌻 LIVE SIMPLY:
Between Starbucks, Target, nights out etc. It is easy to have the “I’ll only go to college once” mentality, but it all adds up and a lot of times, causes a lot more stress than joy. So try living simply and spending less than what you can technically afford right now, without debt.
TEACH YOURSELF HOW TO 🍳 :
Eating out is one of the largest unnecessary expenses and it is an absolute budget killer. As a student, odds are you have enough time to cook for yourself. Save some money and teach yourself a functional and delicious life skill!
FIND 🆓 WAYS TO HAVE FUN:
No matter where you live, there are tons of ways to spend time with friends and spend little to no money. Free events, getting outdoors, movie nights at your place…You get the idea. Talk with your friends who share your goal of being financially savvy and come up with fun ways to spend time together on the cheap!
PAY CASH 💵 :
Studies confirm that when someone pays using a credit (or debt) card, they are willing to spend up to 60% more than if they were paying cash. I.e. paying cash will help you stick to your budget! Plus, you will always know exactly what you can afford and will be less tempted to spend more than you can afford because you can actually see that your resources are finite.
📢 AVOID CREDIT CARDS:
There are a lot of myths out there that you need to start building your credit while you are in college and that using credit cards is the best way to do that. But this simply is not true. There are many other ways to build credit that do not involve using a credit card. (We’ll get more into that in another post soon.) So save money and build positive spending habits by not opening a credit card account.
⌚️ PICK UP A SIDE HUSTLE or EXTRA SHIFTS/HOURS:
An unpopular opinion – but the fact is, if you can limit your student loan burden by working extra here and there, future you will thank you. Dylan and I have never met a single person/client that has said “I wish I had worked less and took on more student loans in college.” Because NO ONE would wish that! So, if you have down time – get some extra work and make that money!
Looking for more information and help building a financial plan while you are still in or recently graduated college?
Book an obligation-free Discovery Call and we will let you know how we can help!