Many men and women entering college will be living apart from their parents for the first time in their lives. If this is true for you, budgeting and banking may be a brand new area of responsibility. The level of skill with which you manage your money in college can greatly impact the amount of debt you must repay after graduation. It is therefore very important that you educate yourself on financial matters such as budgeting, banking, and loans.
Make a Budget
The only proven way to keep your finances in order is to create and maintain a working budget. The internet can be a useful tool in learning how to set up your own budget (see the Web Watch box on the right) and your college may also have a counseling center that can provide you with some more helpful tips.
After tuition, housing ranks highest on the list of budget priorities, but there are also many other expenses that need to be planned out in order to avoid excess spontaneous spending.
Choosing the right bank and account terms can save students a lot of money in the end, in the form of less fees and penalty charges. As a student with limited income, you may be wise to choose a banking institution that has no monthly fees and offers low penalty charges for overdraft. Many online banking institutions offer flexibility and convenience when it comes to banking, and some even offer high interest rates on the money that you keep in a savings account.
It is very important to keep a balanced checkbook in order to avoid overdraft and unwise spending. Be sure that you stick to your budget, so that you will never write a check or withdraw funds for things that you ultimately cannot afford.
Loans and Grants
If you are a full-time UK student, you may be eligible for two separate loans, which are allocated for tuition and housing. As these are two of the biggest college related expenses, you may want to look into applying. The wonderful thing about these loans is that you will not need to repay them until after you 1) graduate and 2) earn £15,000 a year.
Grants are available to eligible full-time students in varying amounts up to £2,835. These sums of money do not need to be repaid and can be a great help to students in need of financial support to pay for tuition, housing and other expenses.
Follow this student finance guide and you will be on your way to a healthy financial life avoiding debt resulting for a better nights sleep.