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Student Finances

As many high school graduates have realized, the cost of higher education has sky rocketed. Getting a college degree is now more necessary than ever, yet it has never been so expensive. Damian Papworth
March 15, 2011
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As many high school graduates have realized, the cost of higher education has sky rocketed. Getting a college degree is now more necessary than ever, yet it has never been so expensive. However, despite the seemingly desperate outlook, there are many ways to secure the money you need to get a higher degree; and one needn’t jump through an endless maze of hoops to get by.

Finding a means to pay one’s way through college is usually one of the top concerns of incoming students; in fact, many may put off getting that coveted degree because they simply can’t afford it. Being a full time student means that it is highly improbable that you’ll be able to build a tidy amount of savings while you are studying.

In fact, the student life usually isn’t one of luxury. You’ll most likely have to forgo some luxuries—dinners out at restaurants will become a treat, buying new clothes will be more of an after thought rather than a priority, and of course, movies, shows and other similar activities should become more sporadic.

Being a student is when financial planning really plays a vital role; it’s the perfect time to learn how to develop a budget. Indeed, learning how to budget and plan your finances early on will help you succeed in life later on—it’s a great skill to learn.

Of course, no one said that living on a budget, especially a tight student budget, would be easy. It does take a fair amount of planning, restraint and balancing. You have to make a list of numbers and calculate how much you can afford to spend per month. This entails calculating the cost of necessities and balancing those out with those expenditures that aren’t necessarily vital.

Paying the rent should be regarded as your top priority. After that you have to make a budget for food, transportation, and other important services such as electricity and internet, as well as books and other school supplies.

Start planning as soon as possible. Don’t delay, otherwise you may run into problems later on; if you wait until you actually are in trouble financially it will be much harder to sort out.

Some schools and student oriented companies as well as banks offer free consultations, advice and help with financial planning from accredited financial planners. You can attend cost free workshops and get a range of information sheets, pamphlets and guides for budgeting and planning. You’ll also find a wealth of information about how to cope after graduation. Many students unfortunately find themselves in debt and don’t know how to manage, but careful planning beforehand will help tremendously.

Credit cards are quite helpful to have; they can be a lifeline if you really need the extra cash, and many times it’s simply easier to use a credit card to pay for things. Using a credit card will also help you establish credit. However, as with anything else money related, credit cards require discipline. If you are prone to spending without thinking, beware. Credit cards can be dangerous.

You need to be able to track your spending and if you do get behind in payments, get right back on track. Don’t sink yourself further into debt.

(ArticlesBase SC #1529355)

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