University can be an exciting place for growth and self-discovery, but it’s also a place where many young adults develop poor money management habits. If not addressed, these bad habits can often stick with students long after they’ve graduated. Check out this blog to be aware of the 7 most common student money problems and also learn some tips and tricks to overcome them.
Student Money #1 Problem
Not Taking Advantage of Financial Aid
By not applying for financial aid, which comes in the form of grants, federal loans and work-study programs, you are creating a mountain of problems that will sting you after you graduate.
Take time to search for different forms of financial aid. This could mean browsing the internet for scholarships, grants, education loans, etc. One of the best sources of financial aid for students, especially in the USA, is Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). By filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you could get additional funding for your college expenses.
There are organizations out there like UniCreds and UniScholarz that allow students to access financial aid in the most hassle-free way.
With UniCreds, students can find a safe and reliable education loan that covers 100% of their study abroad expenses. Moreover, they can find education loans that are collateral-free and have low interest rates. Simply head over to UniCreds and book a free consultation session with an experienced advisor.
UniScholarz allows students to find the most popular scholarship programmes in the world, on one platform. Students who wish to study abroad in countries like the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Spain, France, and many other countries, can sign up for free and find the best scholarships that match their academic profiles. Go to the UniScholarz website today and apply to as many scholarships as you like, free of charge!
Student Money #2 Problem
Not Tracking Your Expenditure
One of the main student money problems is finding out where your money goes. Debit cards and credit cards cause many students to develop bad money habits as there is a fine line between what they can afford to pay for and what they can afford payments on blurs.
Solid money management is being aware of where your money goes. While figuring it out might be laborious, this practice has proven to be very useful even for the most seasoned finance professional. We recommend that you track your spending for at least 2 weeks. You can use a little notebook or an app to track where your money is going. You might want to track what you spend on certain types of expenses, e.g. coffee or drinks out, or maybe tracking what you spend in certain stores. Either way, you need to have at least 2 weeks’ worth of spending information jotted down. And just be sure to track what you’re actually spending, not what you think you should be spending.
Student Money #3 Problem
Not Creating a Basic Budget
We bet you won’t be surprised if we tell you that one of the most common financial problems for university students is not having a budget. Without the help of a basic budget, students may have a hard time keeping their money in good order.
You need to first be serious about creating a budget. Start by listing your expenses — such as tuition, rent, books, food, school supplies, computer equipment, clothing and entertainment — and income. Don’t forget to include one-time expenses, which can consist of things like travel costs for spring break and the holidays.
Then you need to set limits to how much you will spend on specific categories. For instance, dining out or entertainment. If it’s your first time creating a budget, you can ask your parents or an older sibling who has gone through the ropes to assist you. Also, if you receive financial aid and get a refund check, which can happen if there’s more money than what’s needed to cover your student account bank balance, develop a plan for how you’ll spend that money. Remember: If it’s coming from student loans, it’s money you’ll need to pay back eventually. So earmarked funds for that.
Student Money #4 Problem
Not Knowing the Difference Between Wants & Needs
Are you frequently bombarded with photos of enticing items with convenient “purchase now” buttons? Many individuals are more likely to acquire things they don’t need in the digital era. Don’t be a victim of frivolous shopping.
But before you make an impulsive purchase, take a step back and ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Will this product make my life easier?
- How will this product add value to my life?
- How many times will I actually use this product?
Of course, you will occasionally buy a “want,” but making a 30-day list could help you curb your spending. Make a list of non-essential items that you want, and if you still have that nagging desire for something after 30 days, only then consider making the purchase. Then, look into ways you can get a deal, such as using an online coupon or student loyalty cards or purchasing the item during a sale.
Student Money #5 Problem
Not Creating A Plan To Pay Off Your Debt
If you have student debt (like repaying multiple student loans) that has slowly accumulated over a number of years, you need realistic debt solutions that work for your lifestyle and not quick fixes that you can’t live with for the long term.
Keep in mind that dealing with debt sooner rather than later leaves you with a lot more financial freedom. That said, many people delay getting debt help because they’re either embarrassed or don’t know what to do. Here are some tried and tested solutions to dealing with your student debt:
- Pay more than the minimum
- Spend less than you plan to spend
- Pay off your most expensive debts first
- Buy a quality used car rather than a new one
- Reduce your grocery bill
- Get a second job and pay down your debt aggressively
- Track your spending and identify areas to cut back
- Get a consolidation loan
- Speak with a credit counsellor
Student Money #6 Problem
Not Improving Your Level of Financial Literacy
One of the best things any high-level university could instil in its students is the desire to learn more. However, many graduates still have a very basic level of financial literacy. This problem could leave you with crippling financial debt even years after you graduate.
Any degree of learning from our mistakes is worthwhile, especially when we’re educating ourselves about how to manage our money and debt better. Improving one’s level of financial literacy is always worthwhile. But remember, there’s no sprint to the finish line; it’s all about the journey. Here are some ways you can become a master at managing your finances –
- Subscribe to financial newsletters
- Listen to financial podcasts
- Read personal finance books
- Use social media
- Start keeping a budget
- Talk to a financial professional
Student Money #7 Problem
Credit Card Trouble
A credit card is a great tool to help you meet costs, but it is a very bad idea when you have no proper income. Common risks include getting caught in a debt trap and only being able to pay off your interest while making little impact on the debt itself.
The greatest approach to prevent this type of debt is to avoid it in the first place. If you do find yourself in trouble, prioritise paying off this debt. Cut back on everything you can, seek financial aid from relatives, and search for methods to generate extra money to pay off the debt. If you believe you have the financial acumen to handle a credit card, then read this blog on Best Credit Cards for International Students 2021 to get an idea of the best credit cards in the market.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on 7 Common Student Money Problems And How To Overcome Them. Also, do not forget to check out some of our other blogs like –