The new year is here and we’re already halfway through January. With the arrival of spring semester for students, this provides a great opportunity for a fresh start. But with new classes, parties, and the endless all-nighters, thinking about financial responsibility sometimes takes a back seat. Did you know a recent poll unveiled that only about half of college students know their tuition costs, let alone how much debt they’ve accrued?
It’s never too late to start making smart money choices. After all, you don’t want to be a part of the 31 percent financially reliant on their parents throughout adulthood do you? So tuition debt aside, let’s narrow down some easy ways to keep you from getting yourself into more debt.
Evaluate Your Cashflow
Do you have any money saved from Christmas break? Do you plan on getting a job this semester? Determine what you’re working with and calculate an appropriate budget based on the time you have left before summer break.
Choose Your Bank Account and Credit Card Wisely
Is there an ATM available on campus? Does the credit card have an annual fee? Just because they’re offering you 0% for the first year doesn’t mean the upcoming APR is a good deal. It’s easy to obtain a credit card, but very difficult to manage your debt, especially if you don’t have much of an income. Credit card problems are something you want to avoid at all costs. It’s also very important to monitor your accounts on a daily basis as to avoid overdraft fees and fraudulent activity.
Research the Cheapest Textbook Options
Avoid heading right down to the campus book store and do some research online to see what your options are. Is your textbook available to rent? Is there a used version online or in a store that can be bought at a fraction of the cost? Does your school provide forums that hook you up with previous students looking to sell their old textbooks? Just make sure you find the correct edition, volume or most updated version of the text.
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
Your student ID is much more valuable than you think. Having an email ending with an .edu can render countless retail discounts nationwide and showing your student ID can help you save money on food, transportation and entertainment.
Check out ACCC’s Financial Workbook for Pre-College and Current College Students for a complete breakdown on how to appropriately choose a bank, earn money while going to school, budgeting that money and saving it with a complete list of discounts including Apple, J Crew, Amazon and so many more!