Will you be a money savvy college student?
As you head off to college this fall, there will be a plethora of things to bring with you to start your new adult life.
Mini fridge? Got it.
Extra-long twin sheets? Got it.
Self-control, organization, and checking accounts? What?
Having your finances in order before you leave for college is an important part of becoming a money savvy college student and beginning the road to self-sufficiency.
In this new world of college, no one is going to tell you to eat your fruits and veggies, change your sheets on a regular basis or how to spend your money. It’s all up to you.
Here are five tips every money savvy college student should know about to get them on the financial road to success.
A Money Savvy College Student Gets a Plan
The best way to understand your money is to take charge of it. Make a plan including financial goals and actions to take to reach them. Talk to you parents and see what they expect out of you when it comes to money.
Do they expect you to pay for all of your textbooks? Get a part time job during school? It’s important to know where you stand with the parents before you start, not when you find yourself in a sticky situation and desperately need their help.
Once you have a plan, start to organize everything. Checking account, bills, financial aid and anything else that might pertain to money, should be regularly reviewed, organized and stored in a safe, accessible place.
Of course, with identity theft being a problem these days, don’t leave valuable information out where just anyone has easy access to it.
A Money Savvy College Student Knows How to Get Set Up
If you don’t already have one, you are going to need a checking account in college. Check out the banks near the campus and see if they have a branch near your home as well.
If you are eligible for a credit union, you might want to look into getting an account there instead of a bank. Sometimes they offer better deals than a bank does, but not always.
As for the constant stream of credit card offers you are about to start receiving….be very careful about when and if you do get a card. Some people use credit cards in order to establish a credit history and pay it off at the end of each month, which takes a lot of self-restraint and discipline.
Remember, you will have to pay back every cent of what you spend on that card, plus interest if you don’t pay off the balance by the end of the month. Do you really want to be paying for that pizza three months down the road?
A Money Savvy College Student Understands Financial Aid
If you are going to college, you are paying it for it somehow. Whether it is your parents, student loans or scholarships, it is important to understand where the money is coming from, how much of it there is and what are the stipulations that come along with it.
Some student loans require that you start paying them back right away, while others allow a six month grace period after you graduate.
Be aware of deadlines for your financial aid applications, because once they pass it is next to impossible to get the funding you need and it will put you in a needless stressful situation for sure.
This guest blog Tips for the Money Savvy College Student was written by the Cadet Admissions department of North Georgia College & State University, the Military College of Georgia. North Georgia College & State University is one of the top military colleges in the US and offers an Army ROTC scholarship to those wishing to pursue a field in the army.