Not only do we have homework, social lives, and sleep (a rare occasion) to worry about, but then at the beginning of every semester we receive…the dreaded bill!
For most of us, it is extremely difficult to look at the amount we owe without tearing up just a little…or a lot! We must, once again, find a way to pay. Right now, student loans become our best friends (later, our worst enemies). We never seem to have enough money saved – one of our biggest stressors.
So how do we fix this problem? Well “the problem” cannot be completely fixed because we did agree to pay the price of college. It is nearly impossible to pay it off right away, but maybe there’s a way to pay it off faster, so that our future financial situation doesn’t look so gloomy.
First, you must start saving early. This may seem like an obvious observation, yet it is something that many overlook. You shouldn’t overlook this – your future depends on it.
Even if you only have a small amount to save each month, the interest will accumulate. Before you know it, you will have a balance that will surprise you…in a good way (for once).
If you don’t have a job, then go out and get one. Even if it is just during the summers, or for little pay, it all adds up. Later on, you will be glad you put in the effort.
Other than saving all that you can, you also need to track your spending. If you know where your money is going, then you can control it. You can do this by putting a limit on the amount you spend each week/month. So, start a budget, and write everything down.
You may also want to think about eliminating unnecessary expenses, such as bringing your car to school; it won’t kill you to ride the CDTA bus route (which is free with a Siena I.D.!). When it comes to buying books, it is a good idea to rent when you can, and buy used when you can’t rent.
Now, it may sound like your life will be ruined with all these limitations, but saving your money will not be the end of the world. There are ways that you can still have fun!
You can go to the movies, or to dinner with friends, and participate in activities you love. You just have to make sure to look at prices, save when you can, and don’t let excessive spending become an every weekend thing. If you do so, you will end up completely broke, and only have yourself to blame.
As an alternative, you can watch free movies on campus or online. Maybe you could play Frisbee on the quad, or just go to the gym. There are an endless number of activities to do on campus for free, so take part in them, and you won’t be sorry.