Think that you know everything about your finances? Of course you do — if you didn’t think you knew everything, chances are good that we wouldn’t be able to tell that you’re a college student!
The above is more tongue in cheek joking than anything else. However, it does describe a lot of college students in a big way. You might think that you know a lot about finances, but there is always something new to learn. There is always something new to discover, and this is something that you will need to think about as you really try to make sense of all of your options in college.
Now, we’ve all been out of college for a little while, but there’s still some lessons that we wish someone would have told us about before we made all of the mistakes we did make in college.
So if you’re looking to get the inside angle, it’s important to note a few things that can help you make better decisions along the way. We came up with three things that we wish someone had taught us about our college finances. Perhaps this list can help you as you try to make better financial choices in the long run while you attend school.
1. Not All Good Debt Is Good
Before you jump on packing in as many student loans as you can, you might want to realize that not all good debt is quite as “good” as people claim. While it’s true that school represents an investment in yourself, you would do well to monitor that investment. If you’re going to school for something that has a low starting salary, you might want to limit your loans as much as possible. Look for programs that have debt forgiveness, or programs that will actually pay for you to finish your schooling or even reimburse you for your time spent in school. It’s just something to think about, if you’re serious about getting things together.
2. Credit Cards are Tools, but Tools Can Cut!
Are credit cards evil? Chances are good that someone has told you that they are. However, is that really the case? The reality of the matter is that credit cards are only as good or as evil as you make them. If you end up demonizing credit cards, you will feel like you can never tap into them. What if you have an emergency and you don’t have any cash to cover it? This is where the best credit cards come in, because you will be able to cover emergencies without too much stress.
3. A Savings Account Can Do Wonders
It’s so tempting to spend everything that comes in. You get student loan refunds and other financial goodies, and you suddenly think about that shiny laptop that you’ve always wanted to have. However, is it really worth it to get that laptop? It’s better to think about more sensible things, like trying to put some money aside for a rainy day. If you take no other lesson from this guide, you should take this lesson to heart. You don’t want to spend up every last dime you have, because you never know when you’re going to get it again. You just need to make sure that you keep yourself stable as best as you can.
Opening a savings account isn’t really as hard as you think. In fact, many banks offer great savings accounts for students, as long as you can show proof that you are actually a student. Generally speaking, all you will need to do is show your student ID and you can get a savings account with no trouble.
Overall, these are just a few lessons that we wish someone had sat down and told us about before we spent money in college. Protecting your finances is really important. The last thing that you want to do is not have a proper plan to get through college with your finances intact, so get out there and start planning today!