Basic money management skills are essential for students to master in order to be successful during their college years and throughout life. Last month, we shared some budgeting and spending tips for students to follow to help them get a handle on their finances. Here’s a follow up post with more tips to help you get a handle on finances-
Know your Credit Score
Bad credit will haunt you for years to come and limit your options in the future as far as housing, transportation, continuing education and more. To secure a better future and access to lower interest rates, you must maintain a good, clean credit report. Sites like AnnualCreditReport.com will give you one free credit report per year online. You can also check with Consumer Credit Reporting Companies like Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
With identity theft and other cyber crimes on the rise, knowing your credit score can also help you stay ahead of potential consumer fraud. The Federal Trade Commission is a great resource to help protect yourself and your financial future.
Pay with Cash
Having trouble staying true to your budget? Always pay with cash- and you won’t have a choice. “Withdraw however much cash you plan to spend that week, and donâ€™t use your debit card,” says blogger Jordin Keim in this article. “Itâ€™s harder to watch cash go than it is to swipe a card, so you will think twice before making unnecessary purchases.”
Set Aside Emergency Funds
Count on this- you will encounter unanticipated expenses as a student and throughout life. It’s guaranteed. So, be smart and plan for these emergencies. Follow this simple rule and it will set you free from the burden of these unwelcome “surprises”: Live below your means and set aside cash each month for emergency funds. Always have a cushion to get you through times of need.
Utilize Technology to Manage Your Budget
One of the advantages of living in the digital age is the ability to manage your cash on the go. Much of the work can be done right from your phone thanks to banks and their online money management resources like bill pay, budget monitoring, savings account management and more. Free apps like Balance and Mint are very helpful to busy students.
For more tips and ways students can manage their money and get ahead, visit these sites:
Get Rich Slowly – Personal Finance That Makes Cents
CNN Money – Personal Finance
photo credit: 223/365 – my bank sucks via photopin (license)