There’s no way around it: College is expensive, but it is possible to pay for your education without sabotaging your financial future. 40 Money Management Tips Every College Student Should Knowis a resource that you can refer back to throughout the year when you have money questions. Click through it online, download the PDF, or print out a copy.
Here are some highlights:
Paying for College
The first step in paying for school is to talk with your parents, guardians or other advisors, and if possible, to work together as a family to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA determines how much money the government is willing to give you through grants, work-study and federal student loans.
40 Money Management Tips also outlines other funding sources, including scholarships and military or other service stipends.
Even before freshman orientation, you will make financial decisions that will affect your lifestyle. You will have to decide whether to live in the dorms with a meal plan, or to live at home or off-campus. And at some point in your college career, you likely will have to learn to split living costs and household duties with roommates.
You will have to determine whether you need a car and all the expenses that come along with it, or if public transport is sufficient. And you will have to weigh the costs and benefits of having a job to supplement your income — keeping in mind that earning more could affect your financial aid.
While you may adopt bits and pieces of money management techniques from the adults in your life, ultimately you will develop your own money style. To do that you need to learn the basics, including how credit cards work, how to plan for emergencies, and how to create a spending plan.
40 Money Management Tips can help with these topics and also provides information on how to protect yourself and your money. For example, did you know that if you have been a victim of identity fraud, you have to report it to the police and to a federal consumer protection agency? You can learn more tips like these in 40 Money Management Tips Every College Student Should Know.