6 Easy Ways for College Students to Maintain Their Personal Finances

If you’re getting sick of living off the Dollar menu, it might be time to take a new approach to saving money.

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If you’re getting sick of living off the Dollar menu, it might be time to take a new approach to saving money.

College is the perfect time to start taking on financial responsibility for yourself (Image via HypeIQ)

When you are in college, it can feel like you are constantly putting out money for something. For example, your living expenses, textbooks and tuition. This makes it even more important to maintain your personal finances so that nothing is able to get out of hand.

There are several ways to do this, such as working with a local insurance agency and bank.

1. Choose a Local Bank

Working with a local bank makes it much easier to take advantage of all of their services. As a student, you want to have a checking and a savings account. You might also consider your bank to get student loans if they offer them. When you take care of all of your financial business in one place, it makes it much easier to track everything. You can also talk to a financial expert in person should you require personal finance advice or help.

2. Consider a Nearby Insurance Agency

A local insurance agency is often considered to be the better choice because you can work with them in person to determine the types of coverage that you need. For example, you will likely need health insurance as most colleges require that you have a policy. You will need car insurance if you drive and you might also consider renter’s insurance to keep your belongings safe should theft or something, such as a fire, happen.

3. Start Saving Money

Emergencies happen and if you do not have some savings to fall back on, this could put you in major financial trouble. Even if you can only save a few dollars a week, this is going to add up over time. Start a savings account and start putting away every dollar that you can so that you have a cushion should an emergency occur.

4. Know Your Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the most important things that you have, so you want to do everything possible to get it high and keep it there. When your credit score is good, it makes it easier to get credit and the credit you get tends to come with much better rates. It is a good idea to keep an eye on your score so that should it start to slip, you can quickly make some changes to get it back up so that your ability to get credit in the future is not negatively impacted.

5. Create a Budget

You need to know where you stand in terms of your finances and this requires creating a budget. Start with your net income since this is the money that you have to spend each month. From there, determine the total cost of your bills so that you can make cuts when needed to reduce your overall monthly expenses.

6. Avoid Credit Cards

It is common for new adults to immediately start applying for credit cards as soon as they are eligible. When you are on campus, you probably see credit card company representatives floating around trying to sign up as many students as possible. However, resist the temptation. A number of studies have been conducted and all of them show that college students tend to struggle when it comes to credit card debt. It is best to just stick to only spending the cash that you have on hand to help avoid debt.

It is important to stay on top of your finances as soon as you become an adult. This makes personal finance management easier. It will also help to ensure that you have the best chance at achieving and maintaining a great credit score. Do not be shy about talking to a finance professional to get advice since this can aid you with staying on the right track.

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