40 Tips Project
10 tips to consider financially as you head into college
1. Protect your personal information.
As we get older and our accounts and assets grow, I think it is very important to keep personal information secure to protect ourselves from others using our money or credit and to protect ourselves from identity theft.
2. Keep looking for financial aid.
Finding more financial aid can only help you. It is important to look for opportunities to get more financial aid, such as personal situations or changes in the policy of those offering it to you. There are many different costs involved with getting a college education and even the smallest amounts of financial aid can help chip away at them.
3. Use loans as a last resort.
It does not make sense to use loans. They often have very high interest rates and usually cannot be paid off fast enough to avoid this. Plus, there are tons of places to go looking for financial aid, which does not have to be paid back.
4. Apply for a new FAFSA each year.
It is important to do this even if you have not previously qualified for financial aid. This is because, as was mentioned with #2, your situation or the Federal Government’s policy could have changed.
5. Turn a hobby or skill into a money-making endeavor.
This is a good way to generate income in college. It can also help to figure out what general direction your career is going to go in. Also, learning some entrepreneurial skills can’t hurt.
6. Choose the meal plan that works for you.
Many college students overcompensate with their meal plans and find themselves with unused meal credits at the end of the year. This can easily be afforded by just being realistic with yourself and choosing the meal plan that will actually fit your needs.
7. Separate needs from wants.
This is an easy way to avoid wasting money, and goes hand in hand with making rational spending choices. As we saw in the water bottle experiment from the “Mind Over Money” movie, wants and needs can easily be confused when emotion and impulse come into play.
8. Take advantage of student discounts.
Student discounts are available in many places, and all you need to do is show your college i.d. to receive them. This is an easy way to save small amounts of money across multiple purchases.
9. Get help if you get into debt trouble.
It is very important to get help as soon as possible when you find yourself in debt. This is especially true in the case of debt under high interest rates, such as credit card debt, which can snowball very badly.
10. Get into the savings habit.
This can only help you, and it is important to realize that small amounts of savings can add up over time. “Putting your money to work” for you will help you greatly in the long run whilst only bringing about a small short term loss.