Chances are if you are a college student, you probably have a number of things to worry about that do not involve your finances. Although it is hopefully true that your education will pay off and free up your finances with a good career, it is still important to be mindful of your financial well being. Regardless of how you’re your starting salary is straight out of school, a few poor decisions can be extremely damaging to your financial future. If you are mindful of a few things, you will hopefully find yourself in a great position upon graduation.
Credit Cards Should be Saved for Emergencies
Credit cards can be extremely dangerous if not used responsibly. There are a few different ways to go about destroying your credit when it comes to credit cards, so if you can’t handle the temptation of having a credit card, it is best to not have one at all. Taking out a low interest student loan is almost always a better alternative to purchasing items on credit.
Pay Off the Balance in Full
If you are one of the few college students who can responsibly handle the ownership of a credit card, you probably already know that the balance should be paid off in full each and every month. Not only will you end up paying interest on any balance, but a large to debt to ceiling ratio will poorly reflect on your credit.
Pay Your Bills on Time
Time is your best friend when it comes to finances. It is for this reason that it is important to develop good habits such as paying your bills when you are young. A long history of paying your bills on time will come in handy when it comes time to take out a line of credit. The immediate advantage of paying your bills on time is the avoidance of late fees and high interest.
It is never too early or too late to start saving. Even if it is only a small amount every week or month it can quickly add up. Not only that but you will start to form the habit of saving which is often times the hardest part. Having a stockpile of cash will not only earn you money but will give you peace of mind in the event of an emergency.
Open a Quality Checking Account
Shopping around for a quality checking account is perhaps one of the best things you can do in your college years. Two of the most important factors in picking a checking account is that they have no introductory fees and no minimum balance. Many banks offer completely free checking accounts to college students.
By implementing a few or all of these pointers, you are putting yourself at an advantage upon graduation. Preparing for adulthood can be a little nerve-wracking, but not nearly as much as when there is no preparation at all. Time is your most valuable asset as a young person and not using it is only setting yourself up for a hard road ahead.