Preparing for College: 4 Essentials for Learning Financial Good Sense

Written by  //  2013/05/13  //  Money Management  //  4 Comments

One thing that you do not realize when you make the transition from high school to college is that you really were not taught about financial good sense in school. Sure you might have had a class that teaches you this sort of thing, but in most cases if your parents are not showing you how to manage your money responsibly, you’re going to have to solve this one on your own. A recent MasterCard survey reveals that 64 percent of parents are concerned if their children can manage money.

Parents with college students are worried at a rate of 69 percent; and, 40 percent of parents believe their kids will run out of money within the first month of school, with 67 percent believing this will happen in the first year.

If you’re worried about managing your money in college, here are some secrets to help you develop a good sense financially:

Don’t Eat Out All the Time

Instead of going that route, learn to cook. The Internet is filled with recipes, whether you try a food blog or a complete recipe site. Your college library also has cookbooks to take a look at if necessary. You might be limited on cooking facilities in your dorm or off-campus apartment, but college cookbooks do exist to help you get around these hurdles.

Consider an Off-Campus Apartment

Unless the school you’re attending requires you to stay in the dorms during freshmen year, an off-campus apartment could save you tons of money. In many cases, dorms are expensive and require you to purchase a meal plan. You save money by finding a cheap apartment near campus and cooking your own meals. Get no-contract phones to save money over a landline.

Work Your Way Through College

Don’t take out loans for living expenses and other incidentals if you don’t need to. If you can manage a job along with your school schedule, you should. This allows you to pay existing loans off, get out of school with less debt, and have a work history — If you can find a job that’s in your field, that’s even better.

Take out a low-interest credit card to learn how to manage your money responsibly. Credit can be confusing if you’ve never encountered it before, and you don’t want your first credit card to be a bad experience. Many credit companies go to student unions and advertise student cards but look through your options first. Some companies have low-interest rates and allow your parents to co-sign with you. You can safely learn how to use a card while having your parents make sure that you’re on the right track. Make sure to pay your card on time, and if possible pay the balance in full.

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