Going to college straight out of high school is an incredibly exciting step. Or perhaps you’ve decided to go back to school to change careers or advance your training. Whatever your motivation is behind going back to school, one thing is for sure which is that it’s going to be expensive.
The average graduating college senior is between 25 and 30 thousand dollars. So it’s important to know what some of the best financial tips are to get through your education spending the least amount possible.
Take a look at these three straightforward and practical tips for your college years.
Look Into Financial Aid
Most people who are about to go to school know about financial aid. It’s pretty likely that unless you were born financially independent, you probably have to borrow money to pay for your studies. However, don’t forget about scholarships and grants. It’s beneficial to look into all of your possible options before you fork over the cash.
In addition to scholarships which your particular school offers, try to look into whether you qualify for funding based on any organizations that you’re a part of, your particular interests, and even those of your parents. There is more money out there for aspiring students than people realize. The more free money that you can get your hands on to pay for your school, the better!
Budget Like Crazy!
It’s vital that you create spending guidelines for yourself when you’re living modestly. Creating a strict budget in a spreadsheet is the best way to make sure that you’re staying within your goals. Spending freely without any limits will only lead to finding yourself in trouble later on.
The idea is to make sure that your basic needs are covered before you spend money on extras. A budget helps you stay accountable for your spending without letting unnecessary expenses slip through the cracks.
Be Careful About Credit Cards
Even though it’s smart to create a credit history for yourself, it’s a slippery slope to lean on credit cards too much. You can easily find yourself tens of thousands of dollars in debt besides your college tuition fees.
Instead, try to only use your card when necessary and pay them off in full every billing cycle. Always be sure to check what the interest rates are before you sign up for new cards. Otherwise, you’ll pay much more in interest than is worth it.
You’re better off carrying a small balance each month so that you’re building a solid credit score for yourself. As a result, you’ll have more rental options available to you if you look for an apartment, not to mention better chances of getting a loan for your business or future home.