It can be frustrating to constantly hear the phrase, “Broke College Student”. We’ve all heard it…many of us have been there, done that and are over it! It’s hard when you’re going to school, keeping up with projects and homework all while trying to have a job and juggle what’s left of your time with extracurricular activities and (most likely) naps. With all that going on, there’s always that phrase to remind many students of one thing: debt. Sure you’re a broke college student and resentful of the reminder, but maybe you really are in debt, and the combination can be overwhelming. Many of us have debt and while it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s important to understand how to manage it wisely. So how do you juggle the crazy college lifestyle, and attempt to graduate college with less debt? Here’s the steps to take while you’re in college.
1. Pay for Books and Living Expenses Outside of Your Loans
We can’t believe how often we hear about college students using loan money towards groceries, weekend activities, and spring break trips. That’s the fast track to burying yourself in debt. Look at student loans as a loan simply to help you pay for classes. After all they are called “student loans” not, “I want to buy this swimsuit for my trip to Mexico loans”.
2. If You Work a Student Job, (and We Recommend You Do) Set Aside Money into Savings
Depending on the hours you work or your class load; the advice “save your money” may sound as crazy as: “sprout wings and fly away”. It can be daunting and difficult, but if you have the ability to not live paycheck to paycheck, try to save even the tiniest amount. Every dollar helps. Your future self will thank you profusely.
3. Budget Thoroughly
This pairs well with learning to save your money. Budgeting makes you very aware of where your money is, where it’s going, and how you will spend it. It will also help you make your own plan for saving money towards paying off your debt. If you don’t have a budget; you can open yourself up to many mistakes and not help your financial well-being down the road.
Debt is common but can be daunting. However, if you learn to manage it properly you can find a system that works for you and graduate college with less debt than your classmates. Cheers to that!
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