College Finances

College can be a challenging time and place: trying to balance school, friends, and clubs can be hard. Not included in this is finances, which I think is the hardest part to keep track of because it can get lost in the mess of balancing your life. Most seniors have just taken their first economics class and should be fairly in tune with what money is and how it works either in the world or in your life.

Some students use their parents credit card and don’t think twice about buying something, and other students work two jobs just to pay for rent and food. I personally see the students who pay their own way to be more successful because they are more disciplined than the student who always lives lavishly. I don’t pay my own way for college, but I do have my own bank account where I get a monthly stipend for food, haircuts, laundry, and just in general living expenses (but mostly food).

The main key to keeping your bank account in the positive is to write down all of what you spend, either in cash or by card. By doing this, you have to recall what you bought and physically keep track of how low your bank account looks. This makes it easier to see if you are about to dip into a negative balance and pay extra fees for doing so. I keep a google sheets document on my phone and laptop, so I can write it down no matter where I am.

The final advice I have for you is to say no. You don’t have to spend money whenever your friends do, and they’ll understand why you can’t afford to go out to dinner for the fifth time this week. Some of my friends don’t see the issue with it, and others are more sensitive about it. Just being aware of the financial state of others is a great characteristic to have in college.