So you are about to enter college- congratulations! You are now entering a new stage in your life that is bound to bring you more opportunities, more freedom, more experiences, and certainly a bit more responsibilities.
Indeed, your first year in college should be both exciting and challenging at the same time. However, you can make the most of it if you train yourself in the right ways of managing time and money. On this post, we talk about personal finance and present some really awesome tips to help you manage your finances efficiently, starting from your freshman year.
Use a Credit Card, but be a Responsible Cardholder
Using a credit card in college is not bad. In fact, that is a good way to build a solid credit history, if you can handle your credit card prudently. Consider these suggestions:
- Use your credit card for small purchases.
- Pay your balance in full each time.
- Be sure to pay before or on the due date.
- Don’t use your credit card for cash advances.
- Avoid carrying a balance.
- Choose a credit card that reports to the credit bureaus.
Use Technology to Manage your Finances
If you are using an iPhone, Blackberry or an Android device, you can download applications or apps that are especially designed to make budgeting and money-management accurate and hassle-free.
Find an app that is compatible with your mobile device. Learn the features and functions of the app so you can get more out of it. Generally, such apps enable you to set automatic alerts so you can be reminded of up-coming due dates. It’s very important to develop the habit of paying all your bills on time so you will not be charged with late fees; or if you are using a credit card, with late fees and interest rates.
Watch your Spending
One of the things that a lot of students enjoy the most is shopping. As a freshman student, shopping for new clothes, accessories and gadgets is surely something that you enjoy. However, always keep in mind that uncontrolled spending can lead to other problems, particularly if you frequently shop with a credit card.
Initially, you may find yourself having trouble catching up with your payments. Later on, you may find yourself stuck in debt which is difficult to pay off. The best thing to do is to limit your spending, but only the things you need, and make sure that you can afford them.
Check your Credit Report Regularly
It is recommended that you check your credit report at least once a year. However, if you plan to apply for a student loan, it is best to check your report first before submitting your loan application.
For your information, having solid credit history will work to your advantage because many lenders offer their best deals to customers with good credit. However, should you find incorrect information or charges in your report, contact the credit bureau right away and request for correction.
Stacy is a finance and business guest blogger and web developer. She writes for Accountancy Services in Ipswich for 2 years. She likes to play with words and contributes to many websites.