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7 Clever Ways for College Students to Manage Finances Better

Becoming a college student is the first page of a new chapter in life. As you enjoy your independence for the first time, you may want to try out all that life has to offer. While experiencing everything from new friends and knowledge to travel and the latest gadgets, it is easy to slip up when it comes to money management.
Financial Management

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However, starting young and taking control of your personal finances is key. As per data from the RBI, the total debt of Indian students amounted to ₹1,45,785 crores as of 2022. This figure demonstrates the necessity of knowing how to manage your finances at a young age. Learning to live on a budget is one of the most vital things you can do to build discipline that will come to your aid in the future.

From signing up for student credit cards to utilising schemes such as MNSSBY (Mukhyamantri Nishchay Swayam Sahayata Bhata Yojana), here are the top tips to help you manage your finances as a college student.

Make the Most of Student Discounts

One of the easiest ways for you to save money is by using student discounts. These are offered by many brands and retailers on a variety of products and services such as laptops and gadgets, airline tickets, clothes, online student courses, and even entertainment.

For instance, Samsung, Apple, and HP offer up to 50% off on computers to students. By saving money this way, you can give yourself more room to invest surplus funds or save them for a rainy day.

Review Your Subscriptions

Do you have automated payments going out frequently towards subscriptions to OTT, e-commerce, and online music platforms? Have you subscribed to food delivery, online publishers, media, or fashion services? These may all seem like small expenses, at first glance, but they add up over the course of a year.

Before you know it, you may be spending quite a bundle on such services. So, examine them carefully and subscribe only to those you really need. By reducing this recurring expense, you can allocate more towards necessary expenses.

Find a Way to Earn as You Go

Working while you study is a great way to learn the art of responsibility while putting your skills to practical use. Rather than borrowing money from your parents, earn pocket money from a part-time or freelance job or even a paid internship.

This way, you can get a head start on saving for the future and even have money for your entertainment or travel needs. These funds can also help you repay your student loans in advance, reducing the pressure on you when you graduate.

Get a Student Credit Card

Building your credit score is essential in accessing affordable credit in the future. A great way to start creating a credit history is by signing up for student credit cards. You can apply for these against a fixed deposit, your education loan, or even government schemes like MNSSBY. This offers students financial support through the Bihar Student Credit Card Scheme.

Check if you meet the eligibility criteria of such schemes and use these credit cards for all expenses related to your education such as course fees, textbooks, stationery, and more. However, make sure that you swipe your student credit card carefully, working on a budget to ensure you do not overspend. Pay your credit card bill in full every month to build a good credit score.

Invest Early, Invest Now!

While you may think that you have plenty of time to invest when you begin working, the earlier you start the better it is. A great way to give yourself the opportunity to achieve your goals sooner is to invest now. You can start slowly with a variety of options such as a fixed deposit or even mutual funds via the SIP route.

Choose an investment scheme and be consistent about saving for it, so that you have the funds to pursue your passion tomorrow. Financial institutions today have made it a lot easier to get started, even allowing you to invest via your smartphone. Do note that any form of investing requires you to do your research beforehand.

Shop During Sales and Find Online Deals

As a college student, it is easy to be tempted to spend recklessly. Instead of giving in to this, plan and consider every expense to find the most budget-friendly way to buy. A lot of grocery platforms have deals at the beginning of the month.

By creating a list of all that you need and buying during this time, you can save more. You can also keep an eye on what you want at online retailers and buy it when it is on sale. These small savings add up to a lot and help you make room in your budget for all unplanned needs, be it medical or sudden travel.

Use an App to be in the Financial Loop

While checking bank statements to track your spending is one way to go about budgeting, an easier way is to utilize a mobile application. There are many apps that sync all your bank accounts, credit cards, and student loan accounts in one place. They also have the ability to collate information from SMS alerts when you spend and categorize your spending into buckets such as dining, entertainment, and more.

You can learn more about your spending habits by seeing such snapshots. You can also set a budget and get an alert from such apps when you are nearing this amount. All this helps you track, monitor and plan your finances with ease.

These 7 tips will hold you in good stead as you navigate life as a college student and give you a chance to

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