I am a college student and I have experienced how hard it is to have financial difficulties in college. I came from a family with an average income so I know for myself that I could not ask for anything more than what my parents could give me. There was even a time when I was told to stop from schooling just to give way for my brother who is in his final year in college. It was really a painful experience. I tried applying for jobs but my heart was really longing to still be in school. To make the long story short, God answered my prayers so I was able to enroll that semester.
I never wanted to stop schooling because of financial difficulties. Therefore, as a student who had been through the rough times in college, here are the top ten tips that I can give you to help you through your financial difficulties in your studies.
1. KNOW HOW TO BUDGET
If you are given a weekly or monthly allowance by your parents, make sure that you know how to budget your money. The first thing to consider in your monthly budget is your food. You have to make sure that you would eat during the entire duration for the allotted time of the allowance. Never overspend on food. Never eat in expensive restaurants or fast food chains often since they would just consume a big part of your budget. Make sure that you eat healthy food such that you will be nourished well to keep your body and mind strong. A healthy diet would help you to combat possible illnesses, thus, helping you save money for medicines or hospitalizations.
Make sure also that you already allot and keep the money for your monthly rentals, for your clothes and for your school expenses. It is important that you keep track of your expenditures and you should also check if you are spending according to your budget.
2. LEARN TO SAVE
Another tip that I could give a financially struggling college student is for him to save money. In instances when you allotted more money that your actual expenditures, never choose to spend the extra money for a bottle of beer or for a movie ticket. You just save the money and this will be used in a more useful way in the future.
3. APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
You need to talk to the dean or the school administrator for scholarships being offered in your school. You should check out the qualifications and if you think you fit into one, you should do your best to get that scholarship.
4. APPLY FOR STUDENT LOANS IF NEEDED
If you really lack money to get you through college, you could talk to the school administrator regarding student loans. Expect that there would be some interest rates on these loans so make sure you make the most out of your money. Since these loans are given as a whole usually every semester, you need to budget the money. Keep the money in your bank account so that you will not be tempted to use them on unworthy things.
5. USE CREDIT CARDS ONLY IN EMERGENCIES
Credit cards are helpful if used properly. Never use your card for shopping or for recreational activities if you know for yourself that you don't have the money to pay for the bills. Make use that you are a responsible credit card user and never have a record of having bad credit since you will just suffer in the long run.
6. GET A PART-TIME JOB
Getting a part-time job is usually the option of financially challenged students. However, make sure that the job gives you good salary. Make sure also that it does not eat up the time you needed for studying such that you could still focus on your studies while you have the job.
7. TRIM DOWN ENTERTAINMENT COST
It is sometimes advisable for you to go on parties and enjoy yourself in movies and in other entertainments once in a while but make sure you don't overspend on such things. The cost of entertainment, if you get addicted with them, could cost your whole semester in college. I'm sure you never wanted that to happen.
8. COOK YOUR FOOD
It will bring you a lot of savings if you know how to cook your food. As I've stated in tip number one, food eats up a big chunk of your allowance, therefore, you really need to make measures on how you could still save on your food. Whenever you cook, you would surely save a lot since the meal could cost more than double the price of the ingredients that you just bought from the supermarket. Another good thing about cooking is that you could pack something for lunch so that you will not be obliged to spend money for your meals in the canteen.
9. GET INSURANCE
Many students overlook this option thinking that they are safe within the confines of their school. However, there could be thefts and criminals in or outside the school so it would be better to have a protection through insurance.
10. USE THE CHEAPEST MEANS OF COMMUNICATION
We may sometimes spend so much on calls and text messages in communicating with our families, friends and schoolmates. A wise student would never spend so much on communication per se. If you have your own laptop, you could make use of the internet to communicate with the people close to you for free. You could talk, send messages or even see them through the web camera for free.
You really don't need to spend so much money in college especially that you are already struggling from financial difficulties. Just think that as long as you maintain a healthy body, as long as you make good in your studies and as long as you maintain a healthy relationship with your family, friends, teachers and with God, everything will run smoothly in your college life.