Anyone currently studying for their bachelor’s degree or students in their senior year is well aware of the expensive tuition fees that come with pursuing tertiary education; it’s something that most of the academe world has accepted. As a result, it’s become fairly common to reach out to banks for student loans, work your butt off to land that full scholarship, or ask for a bit of help from extended family to sponsor a portion of a college student’s studies.
However, most people fail to realize that tuition fees are but one aspect of more significant financial risk, an umbrella of expenses that concern your spending habits, recurring monthly payments, and out-of-touch purchases. And while what you pay in tuition will most likely make up the majority of your bill at the end of every semester, it’s about time you assess personal hobbies and activities that are draining away from your funds as well.
Track Your Monthly Expenses to See Where Else There’s a Problem
Everyone fits into a specific niche market that they explore, consume, and promote; that being the case, it’s pretty tricky to put the finger on one universal monthly expense that most college students can do without. Therefore, your first priority is to track your monthly expenses to find out what else is making your budget extremely tight apart from the most common of culprits, like eating out very often.
- Subscription Fees Eating Away at Your Budget: Although your subscription to Netflix’s VOD streaming services might seem like a convenience that you can’t afford not to have, multiple subscription fees to different streaming platforms can get redundant. What’s worse, if these payments are scattered out on different days, you’ll hardly recognize these fees eating away at your savings account. So you might want to cut a few loose ends to make the monthly bill look a lot more agreeable.
- Going Crazy Over Latest Trends And Hype: We know the hype surrounding the crypto-craze and NFTs are well justified given that families are immigrating to tax havens and making millions in a short amount of time. But while jumping on the next meme stock, high-volume options trading, and waiting for that next ICO may seem smart on paper, you have to adjust your risk appetite. Remember, most of these are pure speculation and are the furthest thing from sustainable.
Masking Overwhelming Purchases as Retail Therapy
Going to college and handling stress is, for all intended purposes, synonymous in most cases because you’ll find it close to impossible to find a single student on campus who isn’t battling academic demons and crunching deadlines. As a result, stress management and finding quirky ways of dealing with college pressure are key to surviving the semester and getting a good GWA. But, if you’re among the few people who subscribe to the idea of retail therapy and end up making large purchases to feel motivated, we recommend rethinking your strategy.
- Short-Term Bliss For Long-Term Financial Stress: There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a pat on the back for passing the semester, but rewarding yourself with a shopping spree after every weekly assessment isn’t a sustainable approach. Just like how businesses recognize and invest in high-value services such as professional legal process or subpoena serving or customer-focused content marketing, you must be critical of how you spend your money. And buying stuff just to feel happy will only compromise your financial security.
Being Too Laissez-Faire With Your Money and Budget
We know how tempting it can be to just go with the flow and let time pass you by whenever things get too heated, but past a certain point of being too laissez-faire with your decisions, especially budgeting, creates more problems than it solves. Sure, there will be moments where taking a step back has its merits, but as a responsible college student, you should also know when to put your foot down, exercise a bit of rigidity, and understand the necessity of being strict with your money.
- School Supplies Don’t Need to Break Bank: Most students just accept their fate that all school supplies will come at a premium, but with a bit of looking around and resourcefulness, there are creative ways of saving on these purchases. For example, a lot of the textbooks you need for the semester are readily available in your library’s stack systems or can be acquired through library loaning programs. Plus, buying secondhand from seniors is also more affordable than getting something brand new.
At the end of the day, it’s pretty clear that tuition fees aren’t your only financial problem as a college student, and depending on your lifestyle choices, some of your hobbies can potentially cost just as much. So, before you double down on eating outside or ordering your online shopping cart, we recommend evaluating your spending habits ASAP so you can buy more essentials like getting your first used car.