College Students Face The Reality Of Adult Money Management | Colleges and Universities
Tuition fees. Books. Miscellaneous and miscellaneous costs. There is no doubt that students face significant financial challenges. A little financial planning will go a long way, said Laura Hendrix, associate professor and extension personal finance expert for the University of Arkansas agriculture systems division.
“Many young adults are alone in life for the first time when they go to college and small expenses can add up quickly,” she said. “Before you know it, you can run into hundreds of dollars a semester in incidentals. “
Hendrix said that students who have mastered money management “can avoid the stress of not being able to pay their bills or the pressure of trying to work overtime to stay afloat financially.
“Unfortunately, some graduates start their new lives with debt; but that doesn’t have to happen, ”she said. “Basic financial management skills can help students move towards financial security. “
Hendrix recommends that students:
— Setting goals. People who set goals are often more successful in achieving their dreams than people who don’t plan ahead. Know where you are going and have a plan to get there. Goals have a direct effect on how you spend your income.
Prioritize by thinking about what’s important to you. What are some realistic goals you can work towards? Prioritize specific things you want to achieve.
— Make a plan. Achieve your goals using your personal resources like time, talents, energy and money.
– Examine and adjust. Sometimes changes in circumstances or the economy will require you to make changes or adjustments to your plans.
– Create a spending plan
The next step is to figure out where that money will go.
“Planning is power and a spending plan is your most important financial tool,” said Hendrix. “A spending plan matches income with expenses and financial goals. “
To do this, students must:
– Make a list of all sources of income. This can include not only income from employment, but also income from allowances or educational assistance programs such as grants, scholarships and loans.
– List all expenses. It can be helpful to keep a journal of your spending for a month or two to make sure you don’t forget anything. Review these lists to determine the best use of your income. Are you using your income to achieve your goals? Look for ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary expenses.
– Compare your income statement and your expense statement. Your income must be greater than your expenses. If not, you will need to either reduce your expenses or increase your income. You may need to make some changes to your spending habits so that your spending doesn’t exceed your income. If you’re lucky enough to have extra income, include savings in your plan.
With crooks everywhere, Hendrix said it’s important for students to protect themselves by checking their credit reports, even if they’re not using credit. The place to check it out is here: https://www.annualcreditreport.com.
“It’s a great way to monitor fraud and identity theft,” she said. “Building a good credit rating can make it easier to get a home or car loan in the future, and you will benefit from better interest rates. The most important step in building a good credit score is making regular, on-time payments and keeping credit card balances low.
Protect your personal financial information such as account numbers, passwords and PIN codes. Buy from reliable sellers. Sign out of online accounts and close browsers on shared computers or other devices. Do not click on links in unfamiliar texts and emails. Shred mail and other documents containing personal financial information.
The pressures of exams, late night cramming can make students “fall prey to impulse buys or convenience shopping,” Hendrix said. “Focus on your goals. Think about needs versus wants.
“Remember that advertisers and vendors are trying to influence your spending behavior,” she said. “Avoid commercial pressure tactics and ‘too good to be true’ offers. Set spending limits. Make shopping lists. Comparison shop. Plan large purchases in advance.