If you can’t move from the couch, make some smart financial moves. College students are usually too busy between classes, part-time jobs, and social events to set aside time to make long-term financial decisions and plans. But now is a great time to practice social distancing and do something productive for your financial future. Here are five things you can do for your wallet without leaving the house.
1. Build a budget
Now is the time to sit down, open Boro's free Excel budgeting tool or another handy budget app, and face the facts. Tuition, housing, textbooks, transportation, coffee, food, social events, more coffee…college expense add up very quickly and it’s easy to lose track. A budget will make it much easier to track expenses and clearer where to cut costs. Consider meal planning to spend efficiently at the grocery store or cut costs by limiting online shopping while you’re bored at home.
2. Open a line of credit
Consider opening a line of credit to establish a credit score. Your credit score will be a major part of your financial wellbeing; It will affect your ability to take out loans, rent an apartment, purchase a car or house, or even land a job. If you are looking to accomplish any of these in the future, it’s important to start building credit ASAP, because the length of your credit history matters. BoroCash is a great tool for college students to start building credit and get cash quickly for an urgent situation or unexpected expense.
3. Start saving…seriously
The mention of a savings account or emergency fund might make you roll your eyes, but don’t skip this important step. Even broke college students can tackle this goal. Incorporate a savings fund into your budget. Set aside the money that you saved skipping that iced caramel macchiato, snagging textbooks discounts, or making some meals at home.
4. Stay on top of your student loans
Student loans are often a major, if not the most significant, anxiety and financial burden to college students. Make managing student loans a top priority, even before you graduate. Avoid spending student loan refunds on other expenses and pay them back toward the principle. If possible, deduct your student loan interest payments when taxes roll around. Most of all, right now, your federal loans are not accruing interest until September 30th, 2020. Take advantage of that and do whatever you can to pay down the principle to minimize the interest that will start to build up later.
5. Maximize your return on investment
Don’t forget why you spent an arm and a leg on college in the first place. For many, career goals go hand-in-hand with financial goals. A full-time job after graduation might be one of your most valuable financial goals. Even if you’ve been evacuated from campus, there are many ways to continue career planning. Dust the cobwebs off of your LinkedIn page and put yourself out there and network. Freshen up your resume and start exploring job opportunities as early as possible. Here is a useful career development timeline for college students based on year in school.
A success financial future starts with your credit score. When you get BoroCash on the Boro app and pay back over time, you can start to build your credit history so you are ready for that dream apartment, dream car and much more.