4 Pieces of Financial Advice Every College Student Should Hear

Student loan

College students spend their four years as an undergrad trying to learn everything from introductory philosophy to major-specific, important knowledge. Often along the way, students fail to learn key life information, such as how to keep their personal finances under control. To help remedy that, here are four pieces of financial advice that every undergrad student should know:

  1. Start Building Up Credit

Credit will help financial institutions determine how trustworthy you are with money, so
making sure that you have not just a line of credit, but a healthy line of credit, is critical for future big ticket purchases. There are small things that college students can start doing right now to not just have a line of credit, but have a line of credit that they can be proud of and that will help them when they make those big ticket decisions in the future. Having a credit card that works best for your financial situation is one of the best things you can do to start responsibly building up credit and working your way to a bright financial future.

  1. Don’t Accumulate Unnecessary Debts

It’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of college life and take out small loans left and right to try to build up credit or to take out student loans when the pressure of tuition feels like so much. Not to mention the exorbitant amount of alcohol and food required for college parties takes a lot out of a bank account. But you will be a lot better off if you save the money that you would have spent on small expenditures like that when all of a sudden you need a new textbook or a new bit of software for your computer. This will also help you set up good saving habits for life after college, which is a lot sooner than you think. Even if you do accumulate some debts, there are ways that you can easily get out of it, but it should be avoided at all costs.

  1. Find the Right Bank

Not all banks are created equal. This is especially true for checking and student checking accounts, as some banks will let students have specialty checking accounts with no worries about fees while others will still charge students fees, but give them different interest rates. Shop around and make sure that the bank you choose is the right bank for you and your needs rather than just a random bank. Furthermore, it is perfectly okay to switch banks once you enter college if you realize that you want or need something different from your account.

  1. Balance Your Budget

This is the biggest piece of advice because it sets you up for success in the future. As elementary as it sounds, setting aside certain amounts of money for bills, food, entertainment, and some for savings is one of the best things that you can do to make sure that you spend responsibly and stay within your limits. Maintaining a budget will also help you manage the revolving debts you may have such as credit card bills and student loan repayment, which need to be paid in full for each billing cycle to keep interest rates from spiraling out of control and to prevent the need for debt management strategies in college when you should be worrying more about career readiness.

These four pieces of advice should help college students stay afloat, which is nice when students are also trying to navigate the first years of real adulthood and independence. Having stable finances and a working knowledge of how to stay on top of money will help make this transition a lot smoother and also help keep things stable in order to also have a solid financial future.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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