Student life is stressful. Dealing with a super-tight budget and rising living expenses makes it even more challenging. A cash shortage may be unavoidable, but adopting some good habits can help students to feel more empowered to handle finances responsibly and with care. Read on for five of the best options to keep in mind when you find yourself facing money problems.
It can be challenging to find a place to get a student-friendly loan. Indeed, it can be confusing figuring out what even qualifies as a student-friendly loan! In the simplest possible terms, you’re looking for providers that offer low interest loans. Debt only becomes a challenge if the interest rates are high, meaning you will be paying back more than you can afford to. Students have a low monthly stipend to live on, that’s why it’s important to keep those monthly expenses that you have to commit to, down to a minimum. Thankfully, there are plenty of non-profit organizations offering low or no-interest loans to low income earners (including students).
Be Accountable For Every Cent
How can you encourage accountability with your spending? Take a quick snap of every receipt from every cash purchase you make. In addition to this, you should activate the budgeting feature in your online banking app. Every banking transaction and every cash withdrawal will be added to a “budget” column. For example, if you swipe your card at a gas station, that transaction will be recorded as a fuel expenditure. At the end of each week, you can add in any cash purchases manually, and then review your spending to give yourself the accountability you need. Knowing you have to tally everything up at the end of each week should encourage more responsible decision-making.
Get An Online Job
There are some great ways to make money online. These money-making strategies are legitimate, safe, and you can fit them into your busy student life. Look into joining sites that enable you to do online surveys, product reviews, or internet crowdsourcing. You’re not going to make a massive amount of money, but you will make a bit of spending money that you can access immediately.
Have A Budget
Sometimes, the most basic advice that you tend to overlook and undervalue is the most important. Having a monthly budget for each of your expenses helps you to make calculated decisions. No more spending until the money runs out. Instead, decide how much you can spend weekly on food, utilities, and other expenses. Once you have a “target” to aim for, you can tally up your spending (see point 2) and compare it with your target budget.
Choose The Longest Loan Repayment Terms
Taking out loans? Always opt for the longest repayment terms when you apply, even for small cash loans. Not that you want to stretch your repayments out to the limit. In fact, the opposite is true – you want to pay off your loan as fast as possible. The reason for choosing the longest repayment terms is because it gives you the lowest monthly repayment commitment. If you have enough money, commit to paying double each month. The lower repayment simply allows you to pay a minimal amount when times are tough.
To get through each month when you’re on a low income, you need to spend according to predefined targets (budgets). You also need to be accountable for everything you spend. This is how you can identify whether you have a shortage of income or an overspending issue.