College is supposed to be a time where you grow, and a lot less painful than your high school years. But it’s not all fun and games. In fact, if anything, your college years are not only meant to train you for a specific career, but to also teach you about the hardships of life, and trust us, there are plenty. Among them are money issues, which is a common problem that college students face day in day out. So here are some money issues you may face and how you can deal with them.
Community college tuition fees are a lot easier to handle. But when you enroll in a four-year university or go to graduate school, the tuition costs go through the roof, and it seems like it gradually gets worse every year, unless you’re fortunate enough to live in a country where higher education is free.
With tuition, housing, meals, school supplies, transportation costs, and textbooks, you wind up with some serious debt, which is why most students opt for college loans. In some cases, they even take out an extra bank loan, which puts them into debt by the time they finish their degree. At that point, most students sigh with relief when they land a full-time job so they can pay to start paying off their loans.
If you know you have a part-time job, or you can only afford a certain number of credits per semester, why register for more classes than you can stomach. Alright, so you can’t afford 18 credits per semester, so why not cut down to the full load of 12 or become a part-time student and just do 6 credits. Hopefully, you’ll have some more money to do more credits next semester.
When you don’t take proper care of yourself, or are under a lot of stress, you’ll likely get sick, and if your health suffers, you’ll end up spending plenty of money on hospital bills and prescription meds. Now we get that college can be stressful, but take some time to eat healthy, and get plenty of exercise and rest because the last thing you need is extra expenditures.
Money’s tight, so most students sign-up for credit cards. Who could resist? Even colleges are forcing special student credit cards down your throat. But many cards have terms and high-interest rates, that are not student friendly and you could wind up stuck in debt that you can’t pay off by the time you graduate.
A good credit score can help you get a loan for a new car or to buy a house when you’re older. It can even determine whether you’re eligible for a financing job. But if you start missing payments, it can have a negative impact on your credit score, and if you end up going bankrupt, your credit history will be wrecked for seven years, maybe even more.
If you thought budgeting was for grown-ups, newsflash, you are one! So even with a sporadic income, you’ll need to create a budget and live within your means. If you don’t think you’re any good with handling finances, then ask for help from someone who knows like a financial advisor. Even your own bank can give you a few tips.
Student loan money is meant to be used for tuition, textbooks, and school supplies. Using the money to take someone out on a date, to travel back home to visit the family, or to settle your tab at the pub is downright irresponsible. If you just took the time to think about it, the less you use your loans, the less debt you’ll have once you graduate.
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t aim for Cambridge, Harvard, or some other prestigious, and highly expensive school. But if you didn’t get a grant, or a scholarship, why go to a university where you have to spend thousands of dollars that you can’t afford? If you don’t have a six-figure saving, then you should probably just stick with a local inexpensive school closer to home.
We get it! School is stressful enough without adding a job, even a part-time one to the mix. But you have expenses outside of school as well like food, gas, and clothing, so you’ll need to get a job to keep your head above water. In fact, you might even find a job on campus. Just don’t forget to create a budget for shopping trips and honor it.
As you can see, going to college is more than just an effort to study and get good grades, it can be expensive. To deal with these money issues we recommend you to start saving up, working in the summer or if you are a part-time student getting a part-time job.
If you haven´t read our article about Student Jobs on Remote, now it´s a great time to do it and get some money coming this semester.
What do you do to be as frugal as possible and don´t overspend? Let us know in the comments below.