Finance Tips for the College Freshman
The United States offers some of the best Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the world. Unfortunately, they often come with scary price tags.
1. College Living Costs
US living costs vary significantly from state to state. As a general rule, locations in the Midwest region have lower living costs, while those in the East and North-East have the highest. To give you a better idea, Washington D.C and New York students need 1,700 – 3,000 USD per month whereas students in Texas need $1,000 to $2,000 per month to cover their living costs.
But living costs depend on several factors:
Will you be living on or off campus?
Will you be getting a meal plan, eating out or cooking your own food?
Will you be needing a car or you plan to use public transport?
What do you intend to do for fun?
2. College Survival Guide
In order to enjoy your college experience to the fullest, you need to set yourself up for success.
Don’t skip orientation
The faster you learn your way around the campus, the more at ease you’ll be.
Get to know your roommates and fellow classmates
Although we are all different, most of the people around you will be going through similar emotions. If you stick together, you can create a safety net that can sometimes last even beyond college.
It’s time for your organizational skills to shine
When in college, you are expected to be prepared. Use apps or a big wall calendar, but make sure you stay on top of your assignments and extracurricular activities.
Find your ideal place
Everyone needs a cozy corner where they feel their best, productive and cozy.
Don’t skip classes
As tempting as it may be to oversleep, attending classes can actually help you learn in class, saving you time and maybe even gaining you extra credits.
Get to know your academic advisor
This person is here for you so use the most out of the experience. This person is your key resource. This is the person you should turn to in case of any academic issues or conflicts so if you don’t click with your assigned advisor, simply ask for a new one.
Don’t forget about balance
Obviously, you should strive for good grades but don’t tip the balance too far in either direction as college is also about a new chapter in your social life. Study hard so you can play hard. Don’t forget that some quality me time like doing yoga will help you be even more productive.
3. Finance Tips for the College Student
To minimize the stress, you want to stay on top of your finances.
A budget will help you track your money. By knowing where it is going, you get to find ways to stretch it out. The average credit card debt of college grads is staggering and a budget will be your best source of protection against falling into this trap.
Get a roommate
Not only can you split the cost of rent but you can also split the cost of furniture, groceries, internet, AEP Ohio utilities that can amount to $150 per month depending on the size of the place.
Make a meal plan
If you are making your own food, get affordable ingredients and build your menu around them for the following week.
Don’t go anywhere without your student card
Your student ID is your holy grail. It will get you discounts pretty much anywhere so take advantage of it.
Learn to be more mindful
Being economic is a mindset so let your mind help you. Try to meditate instead of going to the cinema or watching Netflix. Unplug from the noise and plug into your heart and listen to what is your soul whispering to you: it’s free and it never gets old or boring as we often forget we are the person we get to spend most of our lives with. These techniques will help you combat stress throughout your life. Finding ‘free fun activities’ is easy, all you have to do is open your mind.
College is about taking responsibility for your actions as you are now taking your life into your own hands. Remember, it’s not a race: it’s a journey you should enjoy while it lasts.