Money Management for College Students: Tips on Loans, Savings, Financial Aid

How to manage money

As disappointing as it may sound, everything in this world revolves around money. Don’t get me wrong. All I’m saying is that how much we earn and how we spend it has a huge impact on our quality of life. As a mature person with commitments, as well as a husband, father, and student, I keenly feel this. My classmates are a bit younger than me, and I see how they sometimes struggle with the financial side of life. That’s why I had the idea to write this post about money management for college students. I will be happy to share some valuable tips on how to manage their finances for those who are currently pursuing their degree. If this topic of how to manage money and bills resonates with you, read on.

How to Manage Money While in College: What I Knew and What I Found Out When I Got Older

So, on to the pressing issue of how to manage money for students. Some of you will now say that I am wrong, but I would like to point out that the ability to manage finances develops over time as you grow up. when I was younger and didn’t have a family yet, I treated cash differently than I do now. I can’t say I was a party animal, but I loved to go out and spent quite a lot of my earnings. Sometimes, I got so carried away that I had to borrow cash from my parents, which was extremely embarrassing. That was an example of poor money management for students.

Money management for students

Source – Giphy

Only when I got older did I realize that spending funds made sense on some things, while others only occasionally – just some tips on how to manage money from a grown-up. Realizing this was a kind of epiphany for me that helped me cope with my life better and feel protected.

How to better manage money, or “How do I manage money?”

How to manage finances in college? One of the life principles that became crucial for me in terms of finances was accepting that it’s not the amount of money you earn that matters but how you spend it. What I’m trying to say is that no matter how much you earn, if you spend it solely on “guilty pleasures,” you won’t ever have enough money. How to better manage money? For example, buying only branded clothes when you are acutely aware that you could eat well for a month for the cost of those coveted sneakers. This is a path to nowhere. You need to spend according to what you earn. This is the first major lesson you need to learn to manage your finances properly. Do not delay mastering it, and choose what’s best for you.

Alert! Bad Money Management Strategies for College Students

To give you a sense of the difference, let me first introduce you to the anti-strategies of money management for college students.

Open communication: What is the worst way to manage money?

  • Ignoring budgeting. The surest way to get into debt is to have no spending plan. This is a direct path to over-budgeting and a lot of financial stress.
  • How manage money irresponsibly? Accumulating high-interest debt! Credit cards are like good old magic wands if you use them wisely. However, when you pay them off right and left without any idea about interest or the minimum repayment amount, they quickly fall to the side of evil and get you into big trouble.
  • No control for expenses. How many cups of coffee did you buy last week? Or, even better, how many bottles of water did you get recently? Do you remember how much each one cost? No? Congratulations, you are out of control with your spending. Although such things may seem cheap, they add up to substantial expenses. When you have no idea what you’re spending your finances on, it’s a big problem. It’s the worst way to manage money.
  • Impulsive purchases. Often, such purchases bring instant satisfaction and then only the painful realization that you could not afford it. The more often you fall for uncontrolled shopping, the more your finances will suffer.
  • Bad money management for college students: Having no savings. The motto “Live for today” will definitely not help your financial situation. Saving is important – take it from a married man.
  • Always dining out. Lectures, practical classes, written work – all this takes a lot of time and leaves little room to cook for yourself. However, eating out every day will hurt your earnings. You must find a middle ground.
  • Neglecting financial aid. Relying on your own strength is laudable but not always wise. One such case is neglecting scholarships and grants. Don’t make this mistake.
  • Living beyond your means. In conclusion, as I said before, avoid living an unsustainable lifestyle. It will definitely shake your overall financial stability. You must spend within your means to stay afloat.


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The Best Money Management Tips for College Students

Now, I will tell you how to turn the previous anti-strategies for how to manage money in the right direction.

Money management for college students: Boarding guidance to follow for paying your bills

  • The best way to manage finances: Budget thoughtfully. You must create and stick to an optimal spending budget for yourself. If you don’t do so, you’ll definitely overspend, believe me. You have to level up your financial stability.
  • Use credit cards rationally. In no case should you rely on credit cards if you do not know how you will repay the borrowed funds. This will only increase your debts.
  • Tips on how to manage your money: Control your expenses. If you find it difficult to understand what you spend your earnings on and can’t track where it goes, here come the fruits of digitalization. There are tons of useful and convenient apps and tools to make this task easier. They can help you control your finances and cut costs wherever possible. For example, I use the Spendee program. This app has become absolutely life-saving for me.
  • Money management for college students: Say “NO” to impulsive purchases. Don’t make unplanned buys. Impulsive purchases without thinking about their impact on your overall financial situation will bring nothing good.
  • Make savings. Think about your future. If you do not have any savings, it will make you vulnerable to unexpected expenses. And we all know life is full of surprises. Make sure to save some pocket money every month.
Money management for college students

Source – Giphy

  • Cook and eat in your house. I know you’re going to say, “Well, you have a family; that’s why you say that.” Partly, yes, to be honest. But really, if you do the math on how much you spend on dining out, you’ll understand what I mean. Cooking and eating at home at least three times a week will help you cut your expenses down quite substantially. This is one of the tips for managing finances I learned with time.
  • Apply for financial aid. You should have a stable financial cushion to cover your study expenses. Therefore, the very first thing you should do after applying for admission is to apply for scholarships and grants. Not having them will force you to take out student loans to be able to pay for your studies, which is no fun at all.
  • Money management tips for students: Live within your means. Even not very high earnings can cover the essential needs if you distribute them wisely and thoughtfully. You must resist temptations and be strong. Sooner or later, it will definitely pay off.

Final Thoughts on Money Management Tips for Students

So, in conclusion, what can I say to you about money management for college students? The main thing that you need to do to manage your finances wisely is to do it thoughtfully. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of “I only did it once” or “I needed it to feel alive.” Being an adult means taking responsibility for your actions and learning to do what will benefit you in the future, even if you have to limit yourself in some ways now. It’s one of the best money management skills for students.
I hope the information I provided will be of use to you all. Take care!

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Patric Johnson
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Patric is a 4th year student and Assistant Engineer. Besides studying and working, he’s juggling the responsibilities of being a parent and a husband. But he always finds time for the games of his favorite baseball team, the Texas Longhorns.