College is a very exciting time in a young person’s life. However, it can also be a very expensive time. Disregarding the costs of tuition and dorms, college students are often bombarded with numerous opportunities to spend what little extra cash they have.
Giving in to temptation when these opportunities arise is understandable. Young people want to have fun, and sometimes that requires spending money. That said, before they join the real world and start their careers, college students should learn to manage their money more effectively. The following are smart ways they can do so.
How to Cultivate Good Spending & Saving Habits in College
Use an App
Today’s young people are very tech-savvy. This can benefit them if they’re trying to learn how to budget and save. While the process of creating and maintaining a budget used to be too cumbersome, it’s now much easier thanks to apps which simplify this task. There’s no reason not to start using one.
Learn to Use Credit Cards the Right Way
Credit cards can be very dangerous for college students. Having the option to make purchases without paying for them right away is naturally tempting. A college student needs to seriously assess their self-discipline before deciding to get a credit card.
That said, learning to use credit cards appropriately will, along with helping a college student build their credit, also help them appreciate why credit cards are valuable. They don’t exist to facilitate fun purchases. They exist for emergencies and similar circumstances. Learning this at a young age will help a college student avoid financial difficulties later.
Learn to Cook
Sometimes, the general life skills college students should learn overlap with the money management skills they should develop.
This is an example of such a skill. Learning how to cook for oneself is something most people should at least attempt by the time they’re in college. From a financial perspective, this will help a student avoid spending excessive amounts of money on delivery and take-out options. It will also give them an early opportunity to learn how to cook decent meals with a few inexpensive ingredients.
Set Aside Money for the Weekend
Even the most frugal college student will likely want to spend money on unnecessary items and experiences from time to time. This isn’t always a major financial mistake. College offers young people the chance to enjoy the kind of active social life that’s difficult to achieve later in life. They should take advantage of it.
The problem is, that social life can be expensive. That’s why college students, after creating their budgets, should honestly decide how much money they can reasonably spend on social activities in a given week. Setting aside just as much as they need (and not a penny more) will help them develop the ability to stop spending all their money when they’re out with friends. That’s a skill that will come in handy later.
In fact, all of these skills will be useful in adult life. That’s the main reason college students should develop them now. These tips make doing so easier.