Money Challenges and the College Student

Money Challenges and the College Student

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When the money you have just does not go far enough.

If you are a college student, then you are familiar with the financial challenges experienced by most collegians. You may be receiving a lot of help along the way, with your parents covering tuition, room and board. Still, there could be some expenses you must handle yourself and with very little funds to work with, your money challenges may be significant.

Here’s what to keep in mind as you attempt to address your financial challenges.

Credit Cards

If you have a credit card in your own name, quite easily you could run up balances in the thousands of dollars. Books, food, personal supplies and a sundry of other items can be charged and added to your balance. You may have enough money to make a minimal payment each month, but attacking credit card balances might be another matter.

Clearly, you cannot afford to run up balances if you do not have the financial wherewithal to pay off your debt. Only use your credit card if you know that when the statement arrives, you will have the funds available to pay off your balance. You cannot afford to leave college with both credit card and student loan debt.

Cost of Living

Do you know how much money you need to live on each week? If most of your costs are covered elsewhere, that is, included with your room and board, then your overhead is quite small.

Still, you will have some expenses that must be accounted for. These include: personal supplies, such as toothpaste, deodorant, tampons, and hair gel. For some people there are ancillary expenses related to an ongoing health problem, such as diabetes medicines, contact lenses, and household (dorm) expenses. Entertainment expenses should also be quantified.

Determine how much you spend each week and find ways to earn that money. You may be eligible to work directly for the school or you might find work nearby. Some students earn money online, by writing articles, managing websites and transcribing.

Make a Budget

With your expenses in mind — school, personal and otherwise — you need to calculate what it costs for you to live. That means making a budget. Specifically, write down your outgo and your income and determine the best way to keep your expenses below what you earn.

If you rely on your parents for an allowance, determine how that money can last until your next allowance. If you are still falling short after much care, then either an allowance increase is in order or you will have to earn more money on your own. Avoid using credit cards to fund your lifestyle.

Student Loans

Money borrowed to pay for your education will have to be paid back. Both federal and private student loans are available, but only take out loans when your other options have been exhausted.

Some students are eligible for the federal Pell grant. And as the name implies, grants are monies that are never paid back. You can also apply for college scholarships, monies awarded by individuals, organizations and corporations to eligible students. Talk with a representative at your college’s financial aid department to see if you are eligible for additional assistance.

College Financial Considerations

Keep your financials under control and you will continue with your college education and do so without interruption. Millions of students never finish college as money challenges overwhelm them. Learn how to control your monies and you will achieve your dreams and do so without a heavy financial burden to weigh you down.

See AlsoAre Credit Cards a Trap for College Students?

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Categories: Personal Advice