Saving money as a college student should be at the top of your list of things to do this year if you’re at university or studying a course from home. There isn’t much help for students who fall into a monetary crisis after they’ve finished their course. Usually, the only way out of trouble is to find a job and hope you’re going to get a decent salary to pay off the debt quickly.
Here are several tips that can help save you money…
Make a Budget and Stick to It
It’s important you don’t overspend on the tight budget you already have as a student. Be sure to create a plan and stick to it throughout the weeks and months ahead. You’ll find saving is easier with a budget in place and you’ll also have more discretionary money to spend to keep you motivated to succeed.
One of the best Free budgeting apps out there is Personal Capital. I use it and highly recommend it. It is super easy to use and allows you to quickly see your bank accounts and spending right on your smartphone or laptop.
Choose the Right Bank Account
Sometimes, the right bank account can go a long way in keeping your finances in order. Choose a bank with better interest rates on savings and try to find an account that has all the features you need without having to pay a monthly fee. Such accounts are readily available; you just need to spend time researching and choosing the right one for your lifestyle.
Pay Cash and Avoid Credit Cards
In the past, College students have typically been targeted by credit card companies with offers for free t-shirts for applying for a credit card. As you can imagine, this resulted in high credit card debt and financial trouble for those college students who fell for that trap. The Credit Card Act of 2009 dramatically improved the debt outlook for college students. It now requires an adult co-signer for credit card applicants under the age of 21 or they can prove they have the income to cover the bill. The average credit card balance for college students is over $1,400 and in positive news, 63% of students pay their full credit card balance each month and only 8% pay the minimum each month.
Sweep the Supermarket Regularly for Better Discounts
Finding discounts on food and other items you usually buy will go a long way in saving you money as a student. Go to your regular supermarket and have a look in the discount sections to help you save. If you usually shop in one supermarket, go to a competitor down the road to try and compare prices. There are lots of ways to save money on your grocery bill and one of the easiest ways to save is to create a weekly shopping list and avoid buying anything not on your list. Another great way to cut your food bill and eat healthier is to buy fresh foods and avoid foods that are processed. Not only are processed foods more expensive, they have additives that are often unhealthy. Once you have success in reducing your spending, it becomes easier. Go ahead, give it a try!
Pay Bills on Time
Once you have a decent budget plan in order, you shouldn’t have an excuse to not pay your monthly bills on time. You’ll be surprised by how many charges and interest you can save every year if you pay your bills when they need to be paid. Thousands of students every year get bombarded with bank charges and the like and it’s those added charges that end up costing them financially.
Save Money on Takeout and Needless Clothing Purchases
It’s easy to treat yourself once you’ve studied or worked hard, but it’s important you cook your own food rather than settle for takeout food. Not only will you save plenty of money every month but your body will also thank you for trying to stay in better shape. Needless purchases on clothing should also be avoided where possible.
The amount of money you save every month is entirely up to you. You could save hundreds every month if you set your mind to it, or you could end up falling victim to financial problems if you don’t have the willpower to stay in control. The above tips will help you save money that will help better your future.
Be Smart About Student Loan Repayment Plans
Graduation is a time of celebration. It's also a stressful time with finals, job interviews and transitioning to a new stage in your life. It's also a reality check when you come to terms with the fact that you will soon be making payments on your student loans.
There are several options for student debt repayment plans:
Standard Plan: You make equal payments for 10 years. This option will result in paying off your loan quicker and costing less in interest.
Income-driven Plan: Your monthly payment will be between 10% to 20% of your discretionary income. The loan term will be extended to 20-25 years and any unpaid balance at the end of the term is forgiven. You will have to pay taxes on the forgiven loan amount.
Which repayment plan is right for you will depend on your goals and if you qualify for loan forgiveness. A service like Docupop can help you select and file for the best repayment plan for your situation. Docupop offers a comprehensive service that allows you to view all of your current debt in one easy-to-review dashboard, highlights the best repayment and loan forgiveness plans for which you qualify, and finally, ensures your forms are accurate and filed correctly.