With the summer almost at an end, you’re probably gearing up to go back to college. If you’re going off to university for the first time, however, being on your own in college may be the first time that you’ve been financially independent from your parents. While becoming financially responsible for yourself may seem intimidating, the right preparation will have you fiscally on your feet in no time. Here are a few finance tips for impending college students.
Look out for scholarship opportunities
Don’t give up on finding scholarships just yet—you may be surprised as to what you will find. Talk to your faculty advisor about scholarship opportunities and keep an eye out for emails about scholarship applications from your university. Your chosen major or minor may even offer scholarships for needy students through their department.
Get a job
Your college campus should offer a number of different job opportunities, from assisting a professor to whipping up lattes in the campus coffee shop. Search out these opportunities as a way to earn a bit of extra cash during the school year.
Stay on top of loans
If you’ve taken out loans to help pay for your tuition, make sure you have all the required paperwork filled out and sent in to your financial aid office. If you forget to sign a form or submit a crucial document, your financial aid office could withhold the funds from a loan.
Being on your own might mean that you will start paying your own bills. When living in the dorms, you may not have many expenses, but if you are in an apartment or house off-campus, you could be in charge of dealing with electricity and gas bills.
To help you organize all of these expenses, you can get the mobile bill pay app Evolve Money. This application will allow you to organize all your bills into one payment. Evolve can come in handy later, as you can also make student loan payments from it.
Build credit properly
College is the prime time to start building credit. While going out with friends and using your credit card to pay for these expenses can be convenient, you shouldn’t overuse this card. This can cause your credit score to drop, which will not be good when you need to apply for loans down the line. To avoid reaching your credit card’s balance, try establishing a budget and only using it for a few items.
Pay all your bills from just one app.