AS A college student, you might think it is too early to think about your secure financial future. For you, this looks like something you can deal with later on when you get your first job. That’s a usual mistake most students make.
If you are struggling with your finances today, chances are you will find yourself in the mire later as well. What’s more, you risk exposing yourself to a lot of stress. A wellness study by Ohio State University found that 70 percent of college students struggle with stress caused by financial difficulties. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to start building a secure financial future here and now. Make the most of our tips to make a successful start.
- Financial literacy
Assess your level of financial literacy. Don’t just rely on your gut feeling to be able to make smart and profitable decisions. There is a lot of learning available out there, so it is foolish to snub the advice and recommendations emanating from years of experience, trial and error, innovation, and continuous learning. Consider taking an online course to address your knowledge gaps, and come up with a plan to apply new learning to your daily routine of money management.
If you cannot afford to take additional classes due to numerous college assignments, you might be wondering, ‘Who can write my paper no plagiarism on time and at reasonable rates?’ Take the time to identify a reliable service. Let professional writers take care of your assignments in accordance with your tutor’s requirements.
- Sort out your budget
The next step is to sort out your current financial situation. Don’t just spend money at random. Put together a detailed budget, including all income streams and expenditures. If you manage to develop a long-term budget, you will be surprised by the findings related to either savings you can make or shortfalls you must deal with.
Financial management must be based on facts and figures rather than unrealistic assumptions. Otherwise, you will keep coming up with a shot in the dark that will make you stuck and depressed. The end result will be a comprehensive understanding of your bottom line that puts you in a great position to keep tabs on your expenses.
- Start making savings
Now that you have a clear picture of your income and expenses, you should be able to determine the level of your savings over the next few years. Make it your rule of thumb to save on a regular basis.
Irrespective of your income level, set a monthly percentage point as your target. This is how much you can save every month. You should also learn from money saving tricks shared by experts and experienced peers. The resulting savings lay a foundation for your secure financial future. They also serve as a cushion against emergencies.
- Change your habits
You should carefully review and assess your spending habits and patterns. Think carefully about the rationale for your expenditures. Do you really need all the items you buy regularly? Do you need to grab each and every sale item even if you don’t need it? Have you thought about alternatives to buying brand-new stuff? Are you prone to impulse buying? These are all important and relevant questions that pave the way for the kind of financial discipline that can secure your financial future.
- Start making smart investments
It is never too early to start making investments, however small. Clearly, you should not risk all your resources. But just like with your savings, you should set aside some money to experiment with your business acumen. Identify business opportunities that look promising, study them carefully, weigh risks, assess your comparative advantage, and invest modest amounts.
Even if the venture turns out to be a failure, you should not treat it as a fiasco. The value of learning you can derive may well exceed the monetary value of your loss.
- Debt management
Learn how to minimize debt and how to manage your financial obligations effectively and prudently. Don’t fear debt. Even the wealthiest people and companies in the world owe something to someone.
Loans can be an effective financial instrument if only you can use them strategically and rationally. Just make sure you don’t borrow without a clear goal and an even clearer plan for repayment.
Your secure financial future starts today. To safeguard it, you need to start developing practical and experience-based habits without delay. The earlier you start, the greater the benefits you can reap in the future.
Ruby Butz is a regular contributor to online student publications on best practices in learning, building successful careers, and developing healthy lifestyles. Her recommendations and hacks have benefited thousands of students around the world. Ruby backs up her tips with research-based evidence and her personal experiences.