The Broke Student trope is something that very few people can get away from, even if they have a job, there is always something to do around campus or your college town, so the idea of saving any money seems a distant dream. But, if you don’t learn how to look after your money now, you will struggle to establish financial stability once you leave college and enter the real world. If you want to give yourself the best possible post-college start, here are four fantastic financial habits to master.
Control Your Spending Impulses
Everyone has spending impulses no matter how old they are. For some, it’s expensive clothes, whereas others rely on the convenience and treat of fast food rather than cooking at home.
No matter your impulses, it can severely impact your budgeting, and this could cause issues sooner than expected. Even if you think you need that thing right now, hold off for a week or even a month. This will give you time to consider whether you can afford it and make sure you don’t go around splashing money up the walls.
Build Your Credit Score
As a student, you may struggle to get approved for loans or services, whether renting an apartment after leaving college or getting approved for a car to get to your new job.
You can avoid rejection for these essentials by building your credit score. It’s always best to compare credit card offers to find the best rates for you, which is typically zero interest over six or even 12 months. While you shouldn’t rely on your credit card for everything, you should use it regularly and pay it off as soon as you can to show you’re trustworthy with borrowing money.
Start Saving Now
Retirement seems a long way off as a student, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start putting away money each month to start your savings account. While you may not use it for retirement, it encourages healthy financial habits and you will learn to live off of less.
These savings can help you pay for emergency repairs or other services, or if you need to purchase an essential, such as a car or laptop.
Ignore Brand Name Products
You may have grown up with branded products in the house. If this is all you know, you may turn your nose up at generic goods found in the supermarket, but you shouldn’t.
You’ll soon realize there are minor differences between these products, especially cleaning supplies or medicine. Generic products cost a fraction of the price, so don’t feel ashamed to buy the cheapest product, because your wallet will thank you, and it will give you more spending money for fun.
Good habits are only formed through discipline. You will need to say no to a few events and parties, and you will need to be more careful with any money that comes into your account. While this might not seem like you can live the college lifestyle like everyone else, it’s always best to learn how to control your money now rather than later, when you will have bills, insurance, and an array of other expenses to consider.