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Top 10 Money Management Tips for College Students
Want to have both time and money to spend? Then the ideas you are about to read in the following paragraphs can shake your inner reality. Even though I’m writing this for college students, that doesn’t mean these principles don’t apply to young adults or youth.
As you go through the top 10 money management tips for college students, I encourage you to take about 3-5 minutes to jot down ideas on a piece of paper that you can apply to your situations. These tips are useless unless you act on them. ACT OK?
Do you know? The main difference between the rich and the poor is in their view of money? The rich think that the older you are, the more money you will have; poor people think that the older you are, the less money you will have. The wealthy know that the younger you start managing your money, the more time and money you will have at your disposal.
What if I told you that most of the college students I know are poor by my definition? Not only that, most of them have a negative net worth. In other words, if you hand them money to take action, the money that goes out of their pocket is more than the money that goes into their pocket? How can this be possible? Oh, it’s possible, and it’s very common, and I’ll explain to you briefly how it can happen.
Introducing Joe. Let’s say that Joe (it’s just a random name for illustration purposes) is an average 18-year-old boy in his town. He attends a local college and like everyone else of his age, he likes to hang out with his friends. His usual activities include watching movies about once or twice a month, eating at fast food restaurants about three times a week, and other forms of entertainment, etc. Now his family is generally well-off, in the middle income category of his country. His monthly allowance is $500, he earns about $200 from tuition. The thing is that every time at the end of the month he has little money left. Sometimes he even has to ask his mom for more money to supplement his expenses.
Are you familiar with this situation?
When I was around that age, I often felt like I didn’t have enough to spend, no matter how much more money I had. I have always wanted to get the latest gadgets, change a new mobile phone, watch late night movies and take a taxi to go home because I felt too tired after a day of activities.
Looking back, I realized that I could still do these things if I could manage my time and money better. I can spend time with my friends doing what I love without spending a lot. If your friends surround you just because you spend money with them, you might want to reconsider if they are your true friends.
I am not advocating being cheap; I advocate frugality and money wisdom. Here are my top 10 money management tips for no-nonsense college students:
1. Carry a water bottle
If you spend about $2 a day on drinks, carrying a water bottle will save you $56 over 4 weeks, or $728 a year. This is simply because you won’t have to spend that money and you can still quench your thirst.
2. Keep some cash in different compartments of your wallet
Have you ever found extra cash in your wallet? Did you feel lucky to find them “out of nowhere”? I know I did. By doing this, I trick my mind into thinking I have less money to spend, so I won’t overspend. This is especially useful in “emergency” moments.
3. Carry less cash; withdraw enough money from your bank
The concept is similar to point 2. The idea is to hold less money. Opening your wallet and finding you only have $5 makes you less likely to spend it. Of course, if you need to spend it, you’ll need to withdraw money from an ATM card. This gives you more time to think about whether this money should be spent.
4. Track your cash flow
About 95% of my peers in college don’t know where their money comes from and where it goes. They have little or no idea that they are spending an obscene amount of their money on entertainment, food, transportation and clothing. I challenge you to track your money coming in and going out for three whole months. You will understand what I mean. I use an iPhone app to help me do this. This is ExpenSense. You can also use other similar applications to help you.
5. Save before you spend
It’s basically the “Pay Yourself First” principle. This forces you to treat savings as expenses. That way your habit will be earn-save-spend instead of earn-spend-save. This habit will have a huge impact on how rich you will become in the future. -winks-
6. Go home early
Go home early. I’m not saying staying out late is bad. I say staying out late is expensive. Imagine driving home on late-night fares. The more you do it, the faster your money will be spent. If you have “your” car, you should know that fuel also costs money. Who pays that money? You can always go out with friends during the day and go home before the late night charges.
7. Pay with your credit/debit card
With your credit or debit card, you can track your monthly expenses in one entry. This will help you get a better idea of how you spend your money ie your spending pattern.
8. Always pay your credit bills on time
If you have a credit card, you should know that the average interest rate is 20% on your credit bills if you fail to pay. For example, if you spend $100 on credit and miss a payment at the end of the month, you will have to pay another $20 on top of the $100. It’s not worth it. Pay on time at the end of the month. Avoid a delayed nightmare.
9. Be responsible
It is the easiest and most difficult to do. Be responsible for how you spend your money. Talk to someone you can trust. It is even better if this person has more experience in handling money wisely. It doesn’t have to be your parents. If you really can’t find one, you can write down your thoughts each month about how you spend your money. This way, you will be more aware of your money management.
10. Take responsibility for your financial education
If you don’t control your money, someone else will. Financial education is arguably the best financial investment you can make. It is relatively cheap. You can grab a book to read and learn. You can attend seminars. You can talk to people who know more about a certain money topic than you do. Keep learning.
Here are my top 10 money management tips for college students. I hope you have had a good read. Contact me to contact me. Finally, share this article if you find it useful. I didn’t include it in the 10 tips, but another money management tip is DOT. Be generous; share the love.
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