3 Sensible and Easy Bill Management Tips for College Freshmen

3 Sensible and Easy Bill Management Tips for College Freshmen
  • Opening Intro -

    Being a freshman in college is like living in a world of firsts.

    For many, it is your first time living away from home, your first time managing life in a dorm or apartment with a roommate and the first time you are making most of your meals — except of course when you order pizza.

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This is also probably the first time you have really had to take charge of your money and pay some, if not all, of your own bills. Managing all of the other “firsts” is challenging enough — the last thing you need is to find that you are running out of money or getting dinged with service charges due to late payments.

Fortunately, it is fairly easy to set up some fail-proof methods to guard your money and make bill paying as smooth as silk. As a bonus, these tips will help you your entire life, not merely this year. For example, check out the following budget-friendly ideas:

Know Your Due Dates and Adjust Them as Necessary

As a college freshman, you might have a smartphone bill, cable bill, college fees like tuition, gas card bill and plenty of other expenses. The first thing you should do is organize all of your regular bills and determine their due dates.

If you have a job in addition to going to school, you might consider contacting the different companies to set up a due date based on when your regular payments come in. As My Bank Tracker notes, this will help ensure that when the smartphone bill is due, you will have the funds available to pay it and will not risk losing your service.

Look for More Budget-friendly Services

While you are looking through your bills, take a close look at the final amount you are paying each month. You might be surprised at how much those movies you downloaded last month caused your cable bill to skyrocket, or that you are consistently going over your data limit and paying way more for your cell service than you realized. In these cases, look into different service plans that take these issues into account.

Call the cable company and ask about any deals they may be offering that include free movies, and if you are not already with T-Mobile for your cell phone service, consider switching to their ONE plan that includes unlimited talk, text and data.

Pay Everything on Time

Do whatever it takes to pay your bills on time. If you have a credit card that you use to buy college books, being one measly day late with your payment can often result in a fee of $35 or more. If you prefer to pay your bills via check or online through your bank’s online bill pay service, write the due dates down in green on the calendar, and then go back a week or so and note the actual payment days in red — paying at least a week early will allow the funds to reach the companies on time.

You can also set up automated payments with each company that will take the money out of your checking account — while this can save you time, be extra sure that the money is in your account so you don’t get hit with bank fees on top of everything else.

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Categories: College Living

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