Personal Finance: 40 Tips Project

The Helpful Tips for a Person Moving into the Future

Do you want to be prepared and financially stable in college? If so, follow these helpful financial tips and you could live a more stress-free life during your college years and beyond!

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Smart Money Managing=Financial Success!

Tip #1: Take Charge of YOUR Life and Money; Don't Let Anyone Else (peers) take Charge

College is a massive change. You will be more independent than ever and will have to live up to being more mature and responsible. This starts with money. When you have money, don't let it make you do things only because you have it! You should be taking the money and putting it towards your own financial goals. Make the money work for you! By implementing "financial planning", you can set plans to use your money. Not only will you avoid wasting a lot of it this way, but you will be placing your money where you think it belongs in a responsible manner. This can ultimately lead you to a successful, stable, financial future. To start use these three steps:

  • Define your financial goals (SMART goals)
  • Create ways to meet these goals
  • Enact these plans until your goals become a reality

While you are trying to achieve you financial goals, there maybe road bumps in the way. This can include distractions from your peers, causing your money to go somewhere that you don't want it to. In college and with friends, there will arise many opportunities for your money to be spent. Some of your friends may be lucky enough to have money to spend but if you feel pressured, cannot afford to do something, or simply don't want to because it might upset your financial or long term plans, don't be afraid to say "No, I can't. ". Remember that YOU are the controller of your money; if you don't want to or can't do something that your peers are, you don't have to. Resisting peer pressure now may have its benefits late on when you are able to achieve your financial goals.

**Two tips in one

Tip #2 : Set Ground Rules regarding Money (while knowing and obeying the ground rules already set by your guardians)

When you head into college, you start to become your own independent person. And as an independent person, you can now make your own rules (mostly). This applies to your money as well. Having your OWN money is going to need responsibility and to be responsible, you should set rules regarding your money. This can include setting limits on how much you use, where you use it, and how you use it just in general. Also, if you share an apartment during college or even after, make sure that you and your roommates know how the costs are going to be split and figure how unusual financial circumstances regarding the sharing should be resolved so that if problems do arise, you will know what to do. Making sure that rules are set can insure that you are responsible with the money that you have. Remember that the rules that you set for yourself should also be in compliance with your guardians. You do not want to give them any excuse to stop helping if if they already are by breaking their rules. Take into consideration "What would my parents think? Would this be ok with them?". Going, attending, and paying for college is essentially a deal made with your parents, especially if they are helping you financially. This can be good or bad, but to make it as good as it can be, keep up with your end of the deal and both parties will be happy.

**Two tips in one

Tip #3 : Get Organized

Whether you just getting an allowance, going into college, or are living on your own, it is always good to keep track of your various financial payments, deposits, and deadlines. Ideally, being organized with EVERYTHING will insure that you won't get a panic attack when you can't find something. Create a system where by you can find all the things you need. One way to do this can be by creating different files which will hold the papers regarding the topic written on the file (bills, checking account, college, financial aid, insurance, loan and credit records, receipts, warranties, taxes, etc). By doing this, you will be able to find your papers quickly, hopefully not forget where they are, pay your bills on time, and meet deadlines. However you can organize your financial stuff, as long as the system works for you, you are setting up your self for less hassles down the road.

Tip #: Learn about your Options

Whether you are deciding what financial aid to get, what to invest in, or simply what to have for dinner that night, looking and weighing various options will help you see what will offer you the best (and sometimes cheaper) deal! For example, always try to compare things, like an apartment versus a dorm or eating out versus homemade meals. Both options will have pros and cons so using these, determine which will be the best for you. Don't make impulsive buys or prompt purchases without comparing and looking around unless absolutely needed. Keep an open mind and you won't have to close your wallet to save money!

Tip #5: Create a Budget and Stick To it

Now in order to achieve your financial goals AND live life regularly, you will have to balance and track where your money is going. One of the best ways to do this is by making a budget or a spending plan so that you can allocate money to certain pieces of your life. A budget will tell you how much money you are making, where to spend it,where you might need to make some adjustments, and where/how you will be saving money! By doing this, not only will you be responsible with your money, you will also be organized, independent, and structured.

Tip # :Use Loans as a Last Resort

Loans. The banks seems so nice to offer them to us. It's like free money! But this "Free money" comes at a cost of course. Loans are in a way an investment into your future because they pay for the things that you will need to have in the future but they do so by putting you into debt by using the concept of interest (pay back all that you have borrowed plus more). So if you don't want debt, don't take out too many loans. Sometimes, getting a loan is the only choice you have, but if you can find other alternatives to getting money without having to pay the extra fees in the end, pick those options! Getting scholarships and grants are a better way to get "free money" because you will have much less debt, if any, when compared to getting a loan.

Tip #7 : Get into Saving Habits

Naturally, whenever you receive money or have some laying around, you will probably want to spend it somehow. But spending is not going to "save" your financial life. By saving money in any and in the most number of ways, you might be surprised on how much the small cuts on expenses have accumulated to quite the sum in the end. And if possible, by saving these "savings" in a bank account, you can just sit back and watch them grow as the interest will leave you a bigger sum! By creating the best saving habits, whatever the habits may be, just learning how to save money will make you more disciplined and will show you how effective saving can be. Just start with little steps and as you get more used to and better at saving, you won't have to worry as much about spending too much.

Tip #1:Separate Wants from Needs

By being able to distinguish the difference between NEEDS (not necessarily just things that you literally live without but includes things that you need in order have a stable, simple, regular lifestyle) and WANTS (the upgraded/luxurious versions of things you would regularly use in life or things that you buy for no justifiable reason), you will be able to figure out what you can either completely cut-out or cut-down in order to save you money. This tip applies for ALL people who want to save money, but if you are in college and you are looking to save money here and there, this is the way to do it!

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Tip #9 :Pay YOURSELF First

A great saving habit is actually giving yourself money to put into a saving account. This may appear to be "selfish" because you are intentionally keeping money when you need to be paying of debts and payments but this is not the case. By putting some money in your account now, the amount will increase due to interest so soon after, you will have more money which you can use later to spend or to pay off anything. Time is money! Even the smallest amount will make a difference in the end, so don't be afraid to give yourself a little money to save. Some mini tips/ideas to do this is to put away a certain amount and/or loose change every day, not to spend tax refund, gift money, or bonuses, and set a goal for what you may want to do with your saved money (this is a good motivator)!

Tip # : Find ways to cut out extra payments and save money

Tip #11 : Net Worth is not the Same as Self-Worth

They say money can't buy happiness. Many people will disagree with this because they think that they can buy things, items, and services that will make them happy. But this is all superficial. Money cannot buy you friends, values, or make you enjoying your work/life necessarily. Money is merely a vehicle to help you get where you want to go in life. Money is nonetheless important, but if you manage it well enough, you won't have to worry about it too much and managing your money will not have to take over your life! Remember that essentially, your money is just a number, but watching this number change through the course of your life will surely bring you some thrill. Just don't let it consume you. Some things in life can only be described as "priceless".