You have landed in the place of your dreams. You have the ticket to the course you have always wished to pursue and the university. However, the new life does not come in handy as it hosts many financial and personal challenges. It is upon you how you decide your lifestyle to be.
No one will tell you when to wake up and the correct time for dinner. Along with taking your first step into the university premise, you are also taking your first step toward finances. And thus, it is not always easier to know your best financial choices. But you can learn these eventually as you mature in years.
If this constant fear of financial downfall haunts you, the blog lists some financial management tips for freshers.
How To Be on Top of Finances as a University Fresher?
A lack of financial literacy can impact nearly every decision in the student’s life. It may lead to bad spending habits, unnecessary expenses, and exhausted savings.
Many of you must be clueless about how to manage money as a fresher.
Undoubtedly, university life comes with freedom, but you must manage your finances. Here are financial management tips for freshers to help balance available money well.
1) Brainstorm ways to use the money well
Think about money as not something to spend but a wise investment. Identify your immediate and short-term needs. Make financial goals for the month. Refrain from considering a yearly financial plan as sticking by it as a student is tricky. For example,
“ Do you want to spend €25 to buy books for the next semester?”
“Do you want to save 4 semesters a fixed amount to buy a car?”
Both of these are the best examples of short-term and long-term financial goals.
It is always best to discuss financial matters with your guardians before starting your university life. Analyse how to use credit cards smartly without getting indebted and defaulting. Credit cards consume the most purchase part of a student’s life. Thus, using it wisely may help you save well.
2) Organise your financial life setup
There are some university life expenses that you cannot skip. It can include anything like-
- Notes Xerox
- Financial Aid
After prioritising the purchases:
- Identify how much you need to save monthly.
- Get a round-off figure that you would need per month.
- Check whether your list includes some discretionary expenses.
If yes, keep it to the bare minimum.
To estimate your expenses, you can create a spreadsheet. Try to balance everything along with saving for emergencies. Staying by the economic segregation (necessary and discretionary expenses) to avoid debt.
3) Use Cash instead of credit cards for purchases
If you are starting your university journey, there will be many distractions. You would feel like buying everything you encounter. But it would hurt your financial bottom line; savings. If necessary, use a debit card for all your everyday needs.
It is better than buying things on credit. The interest rates are competitive on credit cards. Undoubtedly credit cards are significant in terms of lucrative rewards and offer it comes with them, but they can lead to mounting debt. Keep credit cards for essentials/emergencies only.
Cash is the best way to finance your needs. It would help you track your finances better and prevent overspending.
4) Benefit from student travel discounts
You should not consider buying a car or another vehicle to commute to the university. Many universities provide pick-and-drop facilities. But you can surely benefit from student travel discounts.
Students taking a mode of transport to travel to and fro, the vehicle company may help you by providing a discount. You can save around €251/year on transport by doing so. It is indeed an achievement as a student.
Or if you know to drive and it is your passion, check whether you can get a car to drive on rent. You can even share it. It would help you split up petrol and maintenance costs. Apart from that rail card is one of the best options to save on transport.
5) Avoid disclosing financial details
Students often get a little casual with finances in their initial university days. It is natural to be excited, but safeguarding your finances is also important.
Here are some important tips you must be careful about while dealing with credentials.
- Avoid giving details about your account number or Social Security unless you know the purpose.
- Never save the account details on paper. Thieves could get or decode it easily. If you want to, keep it at the hard-to-reach-out place.
- Avoid keeping bills in your mailbox
- Avoid entering credentials on the website unless you know that the website is secure.
- Review your credit cards for unauthorised transactions. If you find any, report it to the authority immediately.
These are some tips regarding credentials that you must be wary about. Always set hard-to-crack passwords to protect your details from cyber fraud.
6) Be careful during the scholarship application
A student’s life is hard in every way, but the trickiest is managing finances. If you seek a little flexibility on the budget, check scholarships for which you may qualify. These are excellent ways to finance your needs without falling on finances or asking for help from roommates.
However, while applying for scholarships, be careful about the following points:
- Never pay a fee for scholarship registration
- Do not fall for a guarantor or person claiming to know everything
- Identify the eligibility criteria before applying. Else, you may lose up wasting your time filling out the form.
While scholarships may help you meet the essential requirement, you must save half of it as an emergency fund. It would help you meet challenging financial circumstances.
However, never tap it for less critical purposes.
On the other hand, facilities like quick cash loans in Ireland help you counter time-sensitive needs like- medical emergencies or urgent educational trip booking. It would help you avoid touching savings or emergency funds for help. You can get instant cash help if you tap these loans urgently. As a fresher, you must be on top of finances and borrow only a small amount to pay comfortably by the deadline.
Student life is exciting but, at the same time, challenging. These financial management tips for freshers are the best to counter urgent and short-term goals without falling on finances. Prioritise your expenses and then finance them. The lower you keep your spending, the higher your savings will be.