Students be wary of credit cards – Tips to manage your plastic money

Guest Post by: Grace Ruskin, Financial Advisor & Writer

For most of the first-time college as well as university students, those shiny plastics in their purse or wallet gives them a no holds barred invitation to splurge on various good things in life. However, student need to be careful with the way they use their credit cards, given the soaring inflation, increasing cuts on federal educational grants and perpetual economic uncertainty that may put them underwater for years to come.

In this case, you may well guard your finances with some smart ways to control your impulsive expenditures to see through your college tuition fees with ease.

How to you manage your credit card and stay debt free

As experts say, credit card companies entice students like you by promoting credit cards as an alternative source of fund to make your college days more happening. However, you should do just the opposite with the help of the below discussed tips that are both practical as well as easy to follow:

* Control your excitement – One of the foremost things that you must do to guard yourself from piling up on outstanding credit card bills is to keep your excitement under control. Though they are good-looking and trendy objects to flash by, yet you may well enter into a vicious cycle of debt, if aren’t careful with them. Make some good use of any cash back offered to you by the creditor. For instance, put a part of that money in your savings or checking account and anywhere that you deem fit. However, make sure that you can find out all those money in case you need some cash instantly.

* Follow a financial plan – Now, budgeting serves as the foundation of a stable financial life and this fact implies not only to students such as you but to the highest echelons of the government. Basically, having a sound budget (or for that matter a practical monthly financial plan) will enable you to prioritize both your discretionary (wants) as well as non-discretionary (needs) costs. In order to draw up a budget, you may take advantage of online budgeting software or just a plain piece of paper and be done with the job.
What is crucial in case of budgeting is that you need to stick to the budget with some does of relaxations in case of emergencies. A proper balance with both your purchases and savings will keep you off from getting bored with it and keep your focus on track.

Know credit card basics – Prior to making a habit to swipe your credit cards at the drop of a hat, you must ensure that you’ve got the basics right. You must be aware of the pros and cons of using then before you apply for the plastics. In this case, run a thorough check of the balance transfer offers, annual percentage rates (APRs), creditor doled out incentives and various other credit card infused enjoyments. Considering the facts, self-recreational options like movies and concerts are high-end discretional luxuries that you must stay away from.
There are many such options too, but then keep your urges well under control and opt for some affordable alternatives to fulfill them, as most others do. So, you may well break away from the mundane world of books and lectures by attending all those college or university funded recreational programs.

Compare costs whenever possible – Comparing costs before buying any thing will help you to pay less and save more, thereby reducing any chances of getting into credit card debt. There are lots of ways to reduce your expenses like online shopping for books or any other college stationeries. Moreover, with so many online shopping carts vying for your business, it is very likely that you’ll be able to compare costs and stumble upon the most lucrative deal. So, the key here is to survey the online market extensively and find out the best deals offered by these e-commerce websites.

Therefore, with all these credit card management tips at your disposal, you cannot afford to use your plastic money recklessly. If you do, then you’ll have to opt for say, credit card consolidation programs (a type of debt relief strategy) to straighten up your finances. It is important in this case to be realistic with your finances and stay alert with what you do with them. Finally, your budget, finances and self-possession will definitely give you good results.

Jan Marie Combs, EzineArticles Basic Author

Financial Literacy for College Students

With college students back on campus, many of them for the first time as they embark on their freshman year at college, I have been thinking a lot about financial literacy and saving money while away at college. We have written articles about ways to save money while in college and have those articles on the Financial Aid Sense website, however, these two articles caught my eye today, thus I wanted to pass them along to you.

Check out these two articles on the US News site which give some good tips about making the right financial decisions while on campus as well as the steps that parents can take to enlighten their children and provide then with some financial literacy basics.

5 Smart Money Moves to Start the College Semester

Steps to Prepare Your College Student Financially

If anyone knows of any high school seniors that will be applying to college, please let them know about Financial Aid Sense – a vital read for anyone with college bound kids.

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Jan Marie Combs, EzineArticles Basic Author

Saving Money While a College Student

My nephew just shipped out to college as a freshman at Syracuse University in New York the other day and I visited with him just before he left. I gave him the usual pep talk that I would give anyone just starting out – including the “study hard”, “make the right choices”, “you will fit in great” talk – all of that stuff – and of course my favorite advice of being frugal and controlling spending. To that end, wanted to make sure that readers see this article below that was published in US News Education today which gives some logical but pointed tips on how to save money while a college student. How to Save on Personal Expenses in College“.

In addition, our own tips are included on the Financial Aid Sense website and in our newly updated publication about financial aid and college financing.  Check out our Saving Money Tips for College Students. Juniors and Seniors in High School who plan to go to college should check out the information on the Financial Aid Sense site as well as our newly updated Financial Aid Sense publication which gives practical advise about financial aid and college financing as well as the templates, case studies, and timelines necessary to stay on track and manage the complicated financial aid process. Check out Financial Aid Sense today!

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Jan Marie Combs, EzineArticles Basic Author

Saving Money on College Books and Supplies

Heading off to college is definitely an exciting time and there is a lot to think about in terms of packing and making sure you have all the required supplies. There are ways to save lots of money on college books and supplies, thus I wanted to devote a post to this topic and share some information on saving money on college supplies and books.

As you are most likely well aware, textbook costs are no small fee! A significant chunk of the Cost of Attendance (COA) at a college includes an allotment for books and supplies. Books can be purchased the old fashioned way at the college bookstore or through online book sellers like Amazon, Chegg, or other online book sellers. Before purchasing books please be sure to compare costs at retailers, college bookstores, and online book sellers as you may be surprised to find a remarkable difference among suppliers with regard to cost. Check out our article Saving Money on College Books before purchasing for some good tips as well as our general article on Money Saving Ideas related to College.

Remember to share this site, Financial Aid Sense, with those students entering their junior or senior year in high school so that they can benefit from important information about financial aid and college financing.

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Jan Marie Combs, EzineArticles Basic Author

How to Limit Student Loan Borrowing

Seems like every day recently people are contacting me about financial aid options, student loans, tips on borrowing private education loans and more. Must be that time of year as tuition bills will be due soon at most colleges.

Hazel from shared an article that she published recently, entitled 8 Ways to Avoid Taking Out Student Loans”. Although there is a money saving tips section on this website with similar tips, I wanted to share this article as all of her points are valid and certainly useful. Even if you choose to only act on a few of the ideas noted in the article, you would find yourself saving some money. Check out the article for some good information and a nice reminder of ways to save money while in college.

Also, please tell everyone that you know who has a child in their junior or senior year this coming September that Financial Aid Sense is now available. It is vital to be informed about Financial Aid and College Financing processes. Financial Aid Sense is a practical guide about financial aid and the college financing process that everyone with a high school junior or senior can benefit from. The guide has much more detail than the website and serves as a financial aid workbook as well, replete with planning templates and helpful resources. An important read AND remember – 50% of proceeds go to support the National GRACE Foundation – a win win for everyone!!!!

Enjoy your day folks! Hope you enjoy the article!

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Jan Marie Combs, EzineArticles Basic Author

Saving Money on College

With college move-in days coming up in August, many families are thinking about ways to save money on college expenses. I wanted to share a link to an article on Saving Money on College Costs. This article has practical information on saving money on expenses related to college, such as textbooks, incidentals, on-campus expenses and more. If families plan ahead, there are a number of way to save money on college expenses. Happy reading!

Jan Marie Combs, EzineArticles Basic Author

Saving on College Books

Many college students will be heading off to college this summer so we are thinking ahead and wanted to share some tips on saving money on college books. Please check out the new article in our resource library for many ideas for saving on college books.

Let us know if you have any questions along the way!




Jan Marie Combs, EzineArticles Basic Author