Just because you’re a college student, it doesn’t mean you need to make all the same mistakes as most college students. This is especially the case when it comes to the financial mistakes that most coeds make. These are all easily avoidable if you know what you’re doing, but it all takes a little bit of forethought and wherewithal. You have to know how to manage your money, how to save your money, and how to invest your money, and you can do it all no matter how young you are. Here are some smart money moves for college students.
Apply for a Credit Card
If you want to start developing credit early, then you are going to have to apply for a credit card. You definitely don’t want to do this if you don’t have a lot of financial stability, but if you are already very responsible with money, then it’s time to start building credit. Apply for a small line of credit and be sure that you just choose one expense to pay for with this card. You should never exceed 20% of your credit limit and you should always pay your credit card bills in full.
Automatically Transfer Money to Your Savings
It’s not a good idea to start the habit of living from paycheck to paycheck in college. This will carry on far too long into your adulthood if you start it now, so just discipline yourself now. One of the best ways to ensure that you always have a growing savings account is to have regular payments sent from your checking account to your savings account automatically every time you deposit a check. You can make this transfer as small as $10 and it will still make a big difference over time.
Pinch Every Possible Penny
It can be difficult to manage your money when you are in college because a lot of your friends will be spending money frivolously. Nonetheless, these friends won’t be paying your bills at the end of the month, so you shouldn’t let their poor spending habits influence your own. Be sure you are saving money by making your own food, don’t shop for clothes unless it’s absolutely necessary, and try to save on transportation costs in every way possible.
Invest in Your Retirement
If possible, you want to start investing in your retirement as early as possible. The earlier you start investing, then the more money you will have saved up when it’s time to retire. This may seem extremely premature at the moment, but the earlier you start, the better. In fact, starting your retirement in college doesn’t require that much money if you open a Roth IRA, and your return will grow exponentially with every extra year that you invest. So, it’s definitely worth looking into, whether you’re attending business school or earning your undergrad degree from some place like GW Online. You can make smart financial decisions no matter what you’re studying.