As college students, we don’t manage our money because…
- We think we don’t have any
- We don’t know where to start
- We don’t think it’s important
- We think it’s too hard
- We’re kinda lazy – I mean, it will work itself out, right?
Sounds like the exact same reasons we put off doing assignments for class. And we all know how well procrastination pays off there. It’s the same for money – put it off, and it’ll bite you right in the ass.
The only one of those that might actually be an excuse is “I don’t have any money.” But for most college students, I don’t believe that for a second. In 2004, 78% of undergraduates worked while they were enrolled, according to a brief by the American Council on Education [PDF]. Thanks to current economic uncertainty, I’m willing to bet that percentage is higher right now.
So, at least 78% of us have a job of some sort – which means there’s money coming in, even if it goes right back out again. But thanks to that aforementioned economic uncertainty, we have to shape up. No one else is going to take the reins of your financial future – you have to do it yourself.
How to Become Financially Savvy While Carrying a Full Class Load
Ok, I’m done pressing the doom and gloom. If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to ask me, “How, Stephanie, do I take the reins of my financial future or whatever?”
To answer that, I bring you a new weekly series on PTY. Every Friday, a quick tip you can use to bring yourself closer to financial freedom. Carrying out these tricks shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes a week, but it will have a profound impact on the rest of your financial life.
The series so far:
- Where It All Begins
- Planning For Your Dreams
- Bank Better
- Check Your Credit Report
- Get Your (Free) Credit Score
- Do Your Own Taxes
- Do Your Own FAFSA
- Know What You Owe
- Establish Credit
- Cut Up Your Credit Card
- Save Your Tax Refund
- Free Stuff, Part I
- Free Stuff, Part II
- Get Savings
- Incoming Freshmen
- Rent Some Textbooks
- Open a Retirement Account
Are you older, wiser, or already financially savvy? Share your tips and financial hacks in the comments. Show us whippersnappers how it’s done!
Oh yes, that was me! “I can’t budget; I don’t have any income!”
Of course, what I really meant was “I don’t know how to budget; I don’t get paid the same amount every month!”
I wish more “beginner budget” sites would focus on irregular income and expenses. Oh, like, say scholarships and tuition?
Wow, your post really helped me realize the TRUE reasons why I don’t manage my money. Thanks for this eye opener! I’m looking forward the tips.
Everyone’s living expenses look a little different, but we all have one thing in common: BILLS. With our current economic crunch, it’s even more important to make sure things like your utilities are paid on time in order to avoid penalties. The Virtual Wallet by PNC (URL) is the new online money management tool that will help you better manage the money you have coming in and money scheduled to go toward bills. Plus you’re automatically enrolled in overdraft protection. So when the weekend rolls around, you’re not juggling your money, you can kick back and enjoy it.
Written on behalf of PNC Bank, Member FDIC
While in school, take a Personal Finance class. I took one and it was most informative.
i think that one of the most critical reasons college students and people in general do not manage their finances well is being all lazy about it… but the great thing about it is it can be quite easy to remedy…
Looking forward to the series. I wish pf blogs were around when I was a student. Would have saved me a ton of money.
I’m starting college next year and I know nothing about money! All I have is my debit card that my parents put allowance in.
PS this site is cool!
Hi Janet! You’re in luck – money tips for you are all over this site! Have a look around. I suggest starting with these articles:
Money Advice for the College Student
Quick Start Financial Guide
and subscribing by email so that you get the new hints in the Money Tips for College Students series as I write them! Thanks for coming by the site, and feel free to email me anytime!
I think that a great tip from the book, ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ is to pay yourself first, usually 10% of your income is a good starting point. Thank you for sharing this information.