Among classes, studying and socializing, another issue college students and their parents stress over is money. There are some important methods that college students can implement everyday to help them save money.
According to fa-mag.com, a financial adviser magazine that was ranked first among publications targeting professional financial advisers, nearly two-thirds of undergraduate students responding to the 2016 Running on Empty—Mid-term Finance Survey reported that they had run out of money before the end of a semester during their college career.
It also states their biggest reasons for going broke was unanticipated expenses (51 percent), not enough financial aid (49.4 percent), high textbook costs (49 percent), expensive college tuition (48.6 percent), and a change in financial circumstances for themselves (42.4 percent) or their parent (30.9 percent).
PSUC Associate Director of the Financial Aid Office Kerry L. Lubold explained that budgeting should be a responsibility for students with no source of income. She said it is important to plan realistic budget and separate students’ needs from their wants.
“As difficult as it is to create a budget, creating one can give you better knowledge of how you are spending your money,” Lubold said. “It’s a matter of personal choice.”
To avoid running into financial issues mid-semester, Lubold suggested that students know who their resources are and get an understanding of how often their resources are available.
According to usnews.com, a multi-platform publisher of news, national student loan debt now tops $1.1 trillion, with the average student accruing more than $26,000 in debt upon graduating. More than half of this outstanding debt is not being repaid because borrowers are struggling financially. Many have said these statistics are the result of a higher education system that has become increasingly inaccessible and unaffordable.
It also stems from a deeper issue: students don’t know what they’re getting into when they take out loans, and they don’t know what their options are when they have to pay them back.
Other money-savings suggestions from Lubold included maintaining your academics to avoid retaking classes, taking advantage of temp and part time jobs, taking the maximum number of credits allowable per semester to accelerate graduation and managing your time wisely.
According to the survey by EverFi and Higher One, students surveyed in 2014 were more likely to take control of their finances, to have credit cards and to have more than one credit card, but not to have acquired a high-enough level of financial literacy to allow them to manage their money well.
“I live off campus so that alone limits a lot of my expenses,” junior and English writing major Kali Machniak said. “This sort of pressure forces me to prioritize my money and put bills and food first.”
Students can also save a lot of money by spending less on fast food. Also, going to places like Walmart or Aldi’s can help students who live off campus buy inexpensive groceries.
“I don’t eat out and I try to food shop responsibly,” PSUC sophomore triple journalism major Gina Agnano said. “I always try to buy only what I know I am going to use and I look for deals. I try not to drive everywhere to limit how much money I need to spend on gas.”
According to the Federal Student Aid, it’s important to remember emergency funds should be used for expenses that fall outside the categories of annual and periodic bills while budgeting.
Unexpected expenses are the result of life events such as job loss, illness, or car repairs. Redefine the notion of “unexpected” bills to encompass these unforeseen events rather than more common but infrequent expenses.
“My savings account helps me,” sophomore English major Armani Ortiz said. “This system has helped me save a lot of money as a college student.”
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