Fiscal Responsibility in College

It doesn’t sound fun or exciting, but being smart with your money in college is almost as important as going to class and will have a significant impact on your future.  This is a time of new freedom and exciting changes, and it can be easy to get caught up, but being careful will protect your future.  Your work doesn’t end with the Pell Grant application and your no cosigner student loans.

Try to remember that loans are not free money.  These will have to be repaid when you get out of college and will accumulate interest that means you will be paying more than you originally got.  Keeping this in mind will help you treat them as a resource to be used carefully and only when necessary.

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While loans may cover all your living expenses, a part time job will allow you to use less of them and get some experience, both in the work place and in budgeting and managing your money.  This is the time to experiment and learn how you want to handle your resources.  If you can find a part time job in your field it will also be greatly beneficial when you are looking for a career after graduation.  Education is important, but most places also want some experience before they hire a new grad.

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College is a time for fun, learning, and making new friends and contacts, but don’t let your fun and new experiences now damage your future prospects.  Financial stability and a lack of debt can put your mind at ease and allow you to fully experience life and fully dedicate yourself to the things that are important to you.  Debt can be restraining and hold you back from trips or low paying, highly rewarding jobs that you might otherwise take.

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