Saving Tips for College Students

SAVING TIPS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

 

College is a time of education, exploration and adventure; it’s also a period where you likely need to save money. When you and most of your friends are trying to keep more funds in the bank, you can use some clever tips to help you get the most out of your money.

Review Your Meal Plan

If you’re constantly having money left over on your meal plan at the end of the semester, consider a more cost-effective plan. While the college might require you to have a certain meal plan during your first-year there, you will likely have more freedom as you earn more credits.

Shop For Textbooks Wisely

You’ve probably heard older students complaining about the cost of books if you’re new to campus. Skipping out on buying books is a bad idea because professors require them for a reason. Instead, ask your professor if it’s acceptable to use an older version or an online version of the book if one of those options is available for less. Also, you might be able to reduce the cost of books by taking them out from the library.

Move to Off-campus Housing  

In the beginning of your college career, you may want to see what life is like living on campus. After the first two years or so, however, you may want to consider moving off of the campus. Moving to off-campus housing doesn’t mean you have to commute from your parents’ home. Instead, you could opt to share a house or an apartment with friends, which will probably be cheaper than staying in the dorms.

Don’t Squander Opportunities  

Many colleges have plenty of free or low-cost programs, soirees and events for students to attend. Also, you might find that your school offers discounts at local attractions if you bring your student identification card along with you. Instead of rolling your eyes at the free opportunities on campus, consider how they can make a major difference in your spending. 

At this point in your life, you might not think that saving money matters too much, and you might spend all of the funds that you have. Eventually, this issue is going to cause financial problems in your life. Instead of making a mess for later, take steps to reduce your spending now.

Top Finance Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying your first home can be a stressful process. But it doesn’t have to be. The best way to eliminate stress is to do your research. If you do enough research then your home buying experience will be smooth and as stress-free as possible. Below are some of the top finance tips for first-time homebuyers.

What’s Your Credit Score?

Knowing your credit score is the first step to purchasing a home. Some people mistakenly believe that paying your credit card bill on time each month automatically means you will have a good credit score. However, you also have to consider how much debt you carry month-to-month in relation to your income. There are many free credit reports online that you can consider. Here’s a helpful list. Once you have your report you need to look it over to make sure there aren’t any mistakes. If your credit is damaged then you will need to repair it before searching for a home.

Know Your Budget

Before you can purchase a home you need to know where your money goes each month. If you are able to save money at the end of each month, then you are in a good position to purchase a home. On the other hand, if you live paycheck-to-paycheck the home buying process will be difficult. Mortgage lenders will look at your income in order to determine whether they will give you a loan or not. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to create a budget and track your money each month. This will give you a better idea of how much you save each month, and it will help you eliminate unnecessary expenses.

Estimate Your Costs

One of the first steps to buying a home is determining how much you can afford to spend. Bankrate has a useful calculator that will help you determine how much money you can spend on a home. By entering your monthly income and things like your credit card bills, the calculator will give you a helpful estimate of how expensive of a house you can afford and the monthly mortgage payment you can afford.

Down Payment

The more money you can put down on a house the better. This is why it’s a good idea to create a monthly budget when you first start thinking about buying a house. Following a budget each month will help you quickly save for a down payment. Many lenders won’t even work with buyers who can’t afford to put down at least twenty percent of the home’s asking price. However, there are some programs that assist buyers who cannot provide enough of a down payment. Take a look at this site to learn more.

Top Personal Finance Blogs

One of the most sure-fire ways to guarantee wealth and security is to pay attention to your personal finance situation. The more you know about personal finance the more money you will save. You’ll also make better financial decisions in general. I recently came across a great resource that lists the best personal finance blogs of 2016. Here’s the link to the article. The list was actually voted on by readers, so the top site, Cash Cow Couple, is a site that a lot of readers recommend. There are many other sites on the list that are worth checking out too like Dough Roller and Mr. Money Mustache. All of the sites on the list are great for inspiring you to manage your money better.