So, I know that fiscal responsibility isn’t the most fashionable topic, but you know what’s even less alluring? Mounds and mounds of debts. That’s what. It’s really difficult to shop when you have no money. I am no financial coach by any means; I am still figuring things myself but I wanted to share what I’ve learned thus far. While experiencing this academic journey, I’ve stumbled upon little nuggets of knowledge.
I have a mental book consisting of nothing but the innumerable qualms about our unfair and broken education system and its affects on our entire society, but that’s another post for another blog, I suppose. So, instead I shall talk about reality as opposed to theories. Unfortunately, I’ve become way too familiar with Sallie Mae and have my fair share of loans. As many out of state students, it’s a nearly inescapable reality. Personally, I’m not worried about my ability to repay them, despite the current job market, especially for college graduates. One of my many life mantras is that I live in a world of abundance. I am never in need of anything, for everything I could ever need is already provided for me, it’s just my job to get it ( I actually have this set as a reminder of my phone everyday, so that I never forget). If you believe that you are meant to live a life of scarcity, in regards of love, joy, financial stability, etc., then you will always struggle. I know some pessimists think that this is a naive or sophomoric way to live life, but I see this adage constantly ringing true. It’s a life truth for mine.
With that being said, I acknowledge that I must take actions in order for this abundance to sustain throughout my life. So, I have created a very small list of financial options for college students.
1. Only take out as much money as you need. Large refund checks are nice, but I I don’t think people realize that at some point this money has to be paid back.
2. Consider to start paying interest on loans, (particularly for unsubsidized loans, where the government does not pay for the interest while you’re in school). I pay just $50 a month, which isn’t a whole lot, but it does make a difference because a few hundred dollars can quickly become a thousands with accumulating interest.
3. Use free resources offered! FIT literally has one of the most comprehensive financial literacy programs I know of. As a new student, you’re obligated to attend certain programs about spending and money, and if you’re taking out loans, you have to attend another seminar. I know it sounds really boring, but I was thankful that it was mandatory. The school I transferred from did not have such programs, and I wish they would have, because I feel a bit more informed about what’s really happening with my loans.
-FIT students are automatically enrolled in this website called SALT that has a number of helpful articles, options, discussions, etc. about loans and money management while in school AND once you’re a member, you have the ability to contact the organization if you have any questions about your financial well-being for the rest of your life.
– There are financial advisers at FIT whose sole job is to help students solve any problems, or answer questions.
4. Last, but not least, manage your money. Or at least try, as people leaving adolescencehood (another word I’ve created) and becoming “adults,” there’s a certain amount of responsibility one has to take. I’m not advising to not spend money, you would miss out on so many great opportunities, because lots of things of value, cost money. However, just because you spend money on it, doesn’t make it of great value. Prioritize, if you want to go to Italy for a semester abroad, you might want to consider not buying a completely new wardrobe every time you get paid. Writing your purchases down helps. In fact, you don’t even have to write them down. There are several apps that help you save by showing how much money/ how long/etc, it would cost to buy a certain or reach a certain goal. FIXX by SALT even shows how much you could save if you stopped spending money on things that have nothing to do with your goal, your “fix”, and are in fact hindering you from reaching your goal.
Remember, all you could ever need is already out there for you. It’s your job to just go get it.
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