So you finally moved out, did you? Left your parents’ house and now have your own place? It’s pretty great, we know. But are you being financially smart? Just because mom and dad aren’t there to police your spending habits doesn’t mean you should go on a shopping spree. We see you out there, yes, you with the new video game console and 60 inch TV.
All joking aside, college students in particular need to be aware of their finances. If you aren’t careful, credit cards can get you into big trouble. So can student loans. That is why we here at Joyce, Jackman & Bell Insurors are here to give you a few FREE tips on how to manage your finances as a college student.
Personal Finance 101
Create a budget
Oh the dreaded B-word: Budget. We know it stinks. But none of us is made of money, and that means we need to be aware of what we have coming in and how much is going out. If you’re spending more each month than you make, or have savings for, then you are probably living outside of your means.
Use your credit cards responsibly
If you’ve been to the store lately, any store really, then you’ve most likely gotten a pitch for why you should sign up for that store’s credit card – 10% off your purchase! But rarely are the incentives on these cards great enough to exceed the potential expense. Many of the cards actually have a higher APR than a traditional credit card, which means if you don’t pay it off each month you could be paying a significant amount in interest.
A good rule of thumb is to limit the number of credit cards you have and pay them off in full each month.
Pay your bills on time
Duh. Right? But the point is worth reiterating. If you do not pay your bills on time it can lower your credit score, which can directly affect your life down the line. Looking for a job? Employers routinely check credit scores of potential employees? Want to buy a house? Not with poor credit you’re not.
Protect tomorrow by budgeting today. You’ll be glad you did!
Source – College and Credit: Tips for Managing your Money
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