When any kind of unexpected situation happens (for instance, your university closing and all of your classes going online and you have to finish the semester on a livestream), there can be unexpected financial costs. This isn't an easy situation for anyone, especially a college student that might not have a handle on finances just yet.
We've got 4 easy steps you can take to make sure that you are as financially secure as possible.
1. Make sure you are keeping a budget
Be as detailed as you possibly can. No doubt that your typical routine has already been thrown off, which can also throw your spending off as well. Write down everything you are spending money on and track the payments you know are coming up (we've got a handy budgeting spreadsheet if you need one). Check your bank balance daily to make sure you haven't gone too off track. Budget tracking apps like Mint, YNAB, and PocketGuard can help keep you in check.
2. Check with your school’s financial aid or student affairs offices
Obviously, your school wasn't anticipating a global pandemic this semester. However, most schools have emergency funds set aside for students that are tight spots in situations like this. Stay in contact to see if you can get access to those funds or any other type of compensation to tide you over. If you are an international student, make sure you are in contact with your international student office as well.
3. Keep that credit card in check
When it comes to using a credit card, only borrow exactly what you need, and avoid overspending. Even in an emergency, you need to be able to pay back in a month or risk accruing a lot of interest. (This is especially true if you have a poor credit history and end up needing to take out a higher-interest card - though you should avoid these if possible.)
4. Look into alternatives like BoroCash
We're keeping our fingers crossed that you're in a short-term situation. If you need emergency cash, a situation like this would call for a short-term loan like BoroCash. We set up BoroCash so that students can slowly pay off their cash between 1 and 12 months and use it for whatever they need (noise-canceling headphones, blue light glasses, laptops, etc). Unlike credit cards, you'll know the monthly payment and the interest up front.
We're hoping everyone stays as safe and healthy as we get through this. In the meantime, please continue making some really incredible Tik Toks.