How should college students manage their time

FAQ: How should college students best manage their finances? - 2021 - INVEST

For many students, college represents the first true taste of freedom. The students are confronted with exciting questions such as which class to choose or how they can spend their time freely. However, the students also face more difficult tasks, such as dealing with their finances. Here are some steps students should take to manage their money and build their credit.

Create a budget

The best a student can do is build a budget. In college, students can develop good habits with their money, and how to budget is definitely one of them. Knowing how much they have to spend each month enables students to make better decisions about how to spend their money every day. Here are four easy steps:

Budgeting Step 1: Calculate Your Monthly Income

Ask yourself: how much do I make in a month? Add any cash benefits, job wages, and loans.

Budgeting Step # 2: List Your Spending

Typical college student expenses include:

  • rental fee
  • Food
  • Gas to commute
  • Telephone bills
  • insurance

Budgeting step 3: subtract your expenses from your income

Monthly income - expenses = discretion

Hopefully the resulting number isn't negative. If so, you'll need to make some changes in their spending habits to get out of the red.

Budgeting Step # 4: Set Goals and Match Your Any Income

The student can now choose how he should divide his arbitrary income. Popular options include students setting up a fund to go out with, saving up for a new gadget, or even setting up cash for spring break. The real function of a budget is to get students to think before spending any money. Do you have the money to make this purchase? Is this purchase really necessary? After budgeting, these questions become much clearer to many students.

Build your credit score

First, students need to understand that a credit score is essentially a three-digit number that tells creditors how much they can trust a person. The higher their credit, the easier it will be for them to get loans, credit cards, and rent an apartment. Various factors affect the credit score, but students need to know that 35% of the score is based on credit history. The sooner you start building a good credit record, the more credit history you need to have a positive impact on your credit score.

We do not recommend getting every single card offered to the student, but rather receiving a card. With this card a student can build up a good balance:

  • Pay on time (absolutely absolute)
  • Do not use the card as a means to exceed your budget
  • Only spend what you know
  • Keep your balance at a maximum of 30% of your credit limit

At the same time, students should repay their loans on time, if they have any. With these few steps, students can learn healthy financial habits for the future. The keys to good money management at any age is planning, budgeting, and being aware of how you are spending your money.

Carol Jones, author of Toward College Success: Is Your Teen Ready, Willing, and Able ?, explains a few steps college students can take to best manage their finances.

  1. First, college students and their parents should make a list of who pays for what. Be specific and list everything you can think of. Who pays for the essentials: tuition, fees, books? Who pays for accommodation and meals, for coffee and food, for transport costs, for concerts and other entertainment, for spring break? Once the student knows exactly what they are responsible for, move on to:
  2. Create a budget. If you don't know how to do it, there are plenty of free online sites that can help. The basic concept is to start with your monthly income and then list the solid expenses - those that don't change and those that are non-negotiable, e.g. B. Rent.
  3. Make a list of flexible expenses like entertainment and dining. If you don't know how much these things cost, start saving the receipts so you really know. Then based on your monthly income, minus fixed expenses, according to budget.
  4. If you need a job to cover the cost, try getting a job on campus first. Your college always works on your school schedule so you can keep your studies as your first priority. Remember that for every hour you spend in class, you need to spend two to three hours outside of class. Make sure that this time is available for any work you take on. Your time management is just as important as your financial management.
  5. Avoid borrowing or borrowing money. Friends who ask you for a loan will have good intentions, but you may not get paid back. Even if you borrow money, you are obviously going over your budget. Stick to what you have and live within your means.

Steven Daar, finance expert and blog author at, explains what students should focus on in their finances.

When it comes to finance, people really only have two advantages. Time and Money While students often don't have a lot of money, they have decades.

Time only works in your favor if you save. As you accumulate debt, time actually becomes your enemy. Small sums of money saved can lead to significant sums later, but at the same time, credit card debt, which is allowed to accumulate and grow, can cripple.

For college students, the key is not to strive to have the best financial picture in the world or never go wrong with your money. The goal should start on the right track and learn from mistakes rather than repeating them.

If you charge less credit cards, pay more of your balance (if you have such an account) and save just a little on a savings or retirement account, you will be on the right track and in front of the vast majority of your colleagues.

The most important thing now is to establish the right habits. After you graduate and start working, you will have the foundation set up to be credit card debt free and to pay off student loans (if any) ), and to save healthy amounts for your goals - be it long-term like retirement or short-term like a two-week vacation across Europe.

Mary Fallon, financial expert at, adds what pre-college students can do to help position themselves financially.

Education is affordable, but studies show that less than half of college students say they had enough financial resources to graduate from college. The college experience is what you make of it and you can have a great one without going deep into debt to earn your education. Finding and comparing affordable schools requires planning no later than middle school to stay ahead of the competition. There are two tools you can use to know which colleges are affordable for you and still be suitable for an academic career:

Net price calculator - Required by the federal government in October 2011, all colleges and other post-secondary schools must book a net price calculator that gives a student at least a personalized estimate of their free grant allowance. The price of a college sticker (participation costs) minus the free grant is the net price. However, about 1,500 of the country's nearly 7,000 schools went way beyond the minimum regulation, providing NPCs who valued ALL kinds of grants - free grants, federal education loans, job studies, institutional grants, and military aid. Some even offer monthly post-graduation refunds on education loans to federal states, ensuring you have the right information to make wise choices about affordable colleges.

After all, millions of college students leave money on the table every year for not applying for student aid. Every student, regardless of income, should prepare a State Student Aid (FAFSA) application in January, either on the U.S. Department of Education website or through the professional assistance of a paid FAFSA service on how to get help preparing an Income Tax Form. The average student receives nearly $ 11,000 in grants each year by not applying. They give money to other students.