Very few subjects bring tears to my eyes when they’re brought up. One of them is money.
Because of its power over people, it is no surprise that most Americans are always stressed out about money. It either heals or harms those that it touches, and gives power to those who hold the most of it. It is required in order to do nearly anything in the world, from owning a home to eating and drinking. For college students, it is few and far between, especially for those in extensive loan debt.
Although money isn’t always kind, it is important to not stress over it too much. There is a way to handle whatever your current financial situation is by saving what you can and by tracking your spending. It is easier said than done, but students, especially, should dedicate time to learning these skills.
Many students receive help from their parents, but it is crucial to know how to financially survive on your own. Mom and dad’s money may always be there, but it is no help if you waste it on unnecessary purchases, or if you don’t set any aside to save.
Every student aspires to get a dream job right after graduation and get rich enough to pay off the massive amount of loans in their name, but it does not often happen like this. Realistically, it could take several years to pay off student debt, even if you are earning a decent salary. So, save up money now to mitigate the long-term impact of paying off a loan.
Even if money is tight, just set aside a few dollars every week — those savings will add up quickly. If I saved just $10 from all of my paychecks that I have ever earned while in college, I would probably have over $1000 saved by now. I also recommend opening a savings account at your bank. Therefore, you will be more organized and aware of how much you have saved.
Whenever someone would tell me that the solution to my financial woes is to save money, I refused to believe them. How could I save up money when I barely have any? Like most college students, I had to try to answer this question by getting a job, in hopes that it will help me pay for my education. However, it barely pays for anything.
If you are also stuck in a job with small paychecks, or don’t have a job at all, try making some money on the side. If you have some things that you don’t need anymore, sell them online. If you are an artist or can offer any kind of paid service, check out odd jobs online, too. It is surprising how many options there are for making extra money.
However, it’s not all about saving — spending impacts finances more. Students often spend the money they have on overpriced food, or get a large, $5 coffee daily from Saxby’s. Cutting back on reckless spending will make a world of difference. Instead of constantly buying take-out, make a trip to Fresh Grocer and buy yourself food for the week. Groceries are expensive, too, but they will last you a little while, unlike a $15 meal from Savas that you’ll probably eat in one sitting, or have enough leftovers to last another day.
Some are fortunate enough to go to college without the help of student loans, and some have never encountered issues with money. However, these people should still be taking steps to become more financially responsible.
Most college students have always struggled with keeping cash in their pockets, but it’s no surprise that millennials, especially, have so many issues with money. The price of going to college has skyrocketed since our parents were students. Inflation has also made the general cost of living and all necessary expenses too high for many people to comfortably live. Our parents used to graduate college with little-to-no debt to pay and were able to save up enough money to buy a house shortly thereafter. However, that’s not a tangible reality anymore.
Although we have been dealt some financial conflicts, saving and reducing unnecessary spending can help cushion the blow that our wallets take every day. Make it a goal to graduate from college and have a plan for how you will begin to pay back your student loans. It sounds overwhelming, but I promise it can be manageable.
Save and spend smartly today to prevent yourself from suffering the consequences later.