Money Math: Valuable Lessons To Learn At College

When you leave school, there’s every chance that you can solve equations, plot graphs, and measure angles, but many college students have limited experience when it comes to managing money. In school, you’re often taught how to solve problems, but these aren’t issues that will necessarily crop up in real-life situations away from the classroom. If you’re preparing to go to college or you’re moving on to the next stage of your course, this guide should come in handy.

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Evaluating your accounts

Going away to college is an excellent time to look over your accounts and determine whether they still work for you now that you’re about to become a college student. If you’ve been with the same bank since you opened your first account, you may find that there are other options out there worth considering. Look at accounts that are geared towards students. Some features, such as online bill payments and low daily balance limits, may be particularly beneficial if you’re swapping high school for college. Before you start your course, take a few minutes to have a look online, explore your options and choose the best account for you. It’s not hard to open a new account, and in many cases, you can do this online.

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Learning to budget

When you go away to college, there’s every chance that this will be the first time you’ve had to budget properly. Whether you’ve taken out a student loan to help with your fees or the cost of living, or you have an allowance from your parents, it’s essential to learn to budget as quickly as possible. When you’ve got money in your account, it can be very tempting to spend it, and you don’t want any nasty surprises when you go to an ATM or check your balance online. It’s very easy to get carried away at the beginning of the semester, but remember that your money has got to last several weeks.

There are many different ways you can budget. Some people prefer to stick to tried and tested traditional methods, such as noting down outgoings in a notepad and updating your spending record with a simple pen. Others use apps or spreadsheets. Whatever technique you prefer, you need to write down exactly how much money you’ve got coming in and what’s going out. Remember that with loans, you’ll usually get a lump sum, rather than regular payments. When you’ve got everything written down, you can ascertain how much disposable income you have. This is the money you have available to spend on socializing or buying new clothes, for example.

From a budget you’ve done for the semester, you can then break this down into a monthly and weekly budget. This will give you a figure to stick to every week. If math isn’t your strong point, don’t worry. You don’t have to sit and work out complex calculations for hours on end. There are really useful features like a fraction calculator and budgeting tools online that make life much easier. If you find it hard to control your spending and keep track of how much money you’ve spent in a week, one option is to take your weekly allowance out of the atm and keep it in a safe place. It’s usually easier to monitor spending when you have cash.

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Understanding loans and credit and planning for the future

When you’re a student, you may not even think twice about taking out a loan or filling in a credit card application. The trouble is that the decisions you make at the beginning of your college journey could affect you long after you’ve graduated. In many cases, college isn’t a viable option without a loan, but be careful about borrowing too much money or getting into debt that you can’t afford to repay. With college loans, it’s common to start repaying your loan when you start working, and you have an income. However, the terms differ according to the type of loan, and if you’ve taken out a private student loan from a bank, rather than a federal fund, you may be required to start your repayments much sooner. If you take out additional loans to your student loan, this will increase your debt, so make sure you can afford the repayments. If you miss payments or you get into a lot of debt, this affects your credit rating.

The average US student accumulates around $30,000 worth of debt over the course of their college career. This is a significant figure, but if you’re sensible with money and you understand the impact of borrowing, you should be able to manage your finances in a way that makes college affordable. As soon as you start working, and you’re earning a certain amount on a regular basis, you can start paying back your loan.

The trouble with accumulating debt comes when you can’t afford the repayments. If you’ve taken out a loan or you have credit cards, and you can’t meet the minimum payment every month, you’re likely to encounter penalties and charges, and your credit score will be affected. If you have a low credit rating, this will make it more difficult for you to borrow money in the future. This may mean that you’ll struggle to take out a mortgage and it may also have negative implications for your employment prospects, as many companies carry out credit checks.

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Going mobile

In this day and age, many of us rely on our phones to carry out a range of simple, everyday actions, including checking our bank balance. If you’re a student, it’s really useful to have access to mobile banking. This enables you to check your balances whenever and wherever you want, make payments and get in touch with your bank. If you don’t already have online banking, download your bank’s app now.

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If you’re preparing to go to college, you’re probably looking forward to broadening your horizons, taking on new challenges and forming friendships, but don’t lose sight of the importance of managing your money. Work out a budget that will see you through the semester, keep an eye on your accounts, and think very carefully about borrowing money. Use apps to take control of your finances, seek advice if you need help with debt, and make sure you’ve got the best account before you leave home.

Rules To Follow When Living On Your Own For The First Time

There are many transitions in life you make and you grow up and increasingly become aware of the greater responsibilities on your shoulders. It will dawn on you one day when you’re packing your bags full of clothes and everyday living items; you’re going to have to take a giant leap into the big wide world. One of the most difficult and daunting transitions from teenager or student is the coming of age as an adult. Living on your own will be tough for a smorgasbord of reasons, however, managing your personal and property finances by yourself will be the most harrowing challenge. The chances are good that you’ll be limited by income, but counter to this is the abundance of information and access to advice at your pleasure. Follow a few rules, mixing simple and complex solutions to problems, and you can navigate your way through life averting catastrophic setbacks.

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Budget before you move

Before you’ve moved into a new apartment or shared house, make a budget that reflects your current income, the monthly costs to live in the property such as rent, your expenses such as insurance, or phone bills, and finally your expenditure such as the weekly food shopping or on new clothes. Use this budget you create to see you through the first month or couple of week. After you feel settled in into the new place, take a look at your bills and go back to the drawing board to rebudget accordingly. Keep in mind some properties have utility costs which are seasonal, such as air conditioning which you might have used in the summer.

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Top of the range tech isn’t a necessity

You don’t need to have all the latest gadgets and appliances around the home, and a lot of young people make silly financial choices that they could do without. Don’t try to reconstruct or emulate in any fashion every part of how you used to live before, such as the need to have a laptop or tablet. Your parents of the university may have provided you with the technology all the other students had, but rather than wanting electronic accessories; you should focus on skillets, plates, cutlery and varying sizes of pots and pans. However, if you’ve been hired for a job that is well-paying, modern studio apartments have all encompassed utensils and connectivity as standard, such as here. Simply download the app required on your smartphone, and you can adjust the heating, set the time for the washing machine or dim and turn off the lights.

Cooking for yourself

There’s an endless wave of information on the internet for beginners just learning how to cook for themselves. Groceries are the most unpredictable, fluctuating part of your budget. Identify what your essentials are, such as bread, milk, and cheese dependent on your tastes. Cooking in bulk will save you money and time. Rice, pasta expand when inside your stomach, so you will feel fuller when eating this food type. Vegetables have a high water content as consequently, also fill you up with relative ease, not to mention the health benefits their exert. A better financial option is to cook in large quantities and freeze the excess individually. Buy airtight boxes and vacuum sealed bags which will preserve your food for up to 5 days at a time. Generally, the price per portion goes down when you cook this way because you save on energy bills and food prepping.

Financial Faculty: An Education In Money

Money. It’s amazing that something which is, in reality, completely fabricated can be so difficult to understand and control. No one finds this task easy. And, no one has mastered the art entirely. But, there are still those out there that are better at managing their money than the rest of us. For the lucky few in this position, money will be on their mind a lot; without having to consciously force themselves to be careful. This sort of attitude isn’t something you are born with, though, it’s something that is learned. To help you out with this, this post will be going through three of the biggest areas of finance. And, the ways that you can start working to take control. This sort of effort will make life much easier for you; so, it’s worth giving it a shot.

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  • Budgeting And Saving

Like any good financial guide; this has to start with budgeting. Without the ability to budget, it’s impossible to make improvements elsewhere. The best way to start something like this is by limiting your spending to the bare essentials. After doing this for several weeks, you will have a good idea of the money you have spare each week. This effort will get you nice and far into proper savings; if you use the money, you have left over correctly. Of course, it is also very helpful to make some actual plans for your budget. Knowing how much you’re allowed to spend each week before the week even starts, is a great way to ensure that you don’t end up in trouble. Nearly no school teaches kids to budget; so, this is something you learn by yourself. But, it’s very much worth it.

With a good budget in place, you should find it nice and easy to start working on your savings. A lot of people think that they have plenty of time to start saving. And, they will put off for a long time. But, with anything like this, it’s always best to start as early as you possibly can. This gives you more time to put money away; giving you the chance to save more during your time in work. Plus, being young doesn’t make you immune to the woes of money troubles. So, to protect your financial future, you should always have savings. Experts recommend that you save at least enough to live for three months out of work. This gives you the chance to get into another role; if you have trouble at work. And, it gives you a good reserve to help you in dire times.

There are loads of services out there to help you with an area like this. In fact, this is one of the biggest areas of finances. There are loads of different mobile apps and other tools which can be used to monitor your money and budget accordingly. This sort of resource can be great while you’re learning the ropes. And, to save, you should be using a dedicated savings account. Bonds will be too far; as you won’t be able to access your money when you want to. So, instead, you need to find the best instant-access account you can. Most banks have more than one. And, they don’t have strict requirements to be able to use them. Have a look at some comparison sites to find the account with the highest return.

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  • Loans And Borrowing

Borrowing money is often seen as a negative way to handle your finances. But, this isn’t always the case. Loans can be a great way to afford something you otherwise couldn’t; as long as you choose the right loan. In most cases, payday and short term loans are best to avoid. They are expensive and hard to settle if you have further money issues. And, they will hammer your credit rating; if you fail to pay them on time. Your credit score is one of the most important aspects of your finances. It’s dictated by your financial history and is usually the deciding factor when it comes to companies giving you a loan or other agreement. Using websites like Experian is a great way to monitor this part of your money. They can give you the advice to make improvements. And, they don’t charge a huge amount for the service. But, this is only one side of the coin. Now, it’s time to get back to borrowing.

Financial experts talk about strategic borrowing all the time. And, it’s something that makes a lot of sense; when you understand it. This practice involves planning your loans to have as little impact on your money as possible. It’s designed to help people get money through loans without having to change their life massively. Of course, though, like anything like this, it takes loads of work to get started. A great example of this can be seen in consolidating loans into one bigger one. By moving loans from here to there, and having them all in one place at the end, you will make them much easier to manage. And, they will be cheaper, too. The same sort of idea can be applied to getting a long-term loan instead of several shorter one; you just have to plan ahead.

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  • Investment, Passive Income, And Career

Now, it’s time to look at how you can make some money; not just how to save or give it away. Investment is one of the best ways to make money, in the modern world. Investment enables you to make extra out of the money you already have; without having to do much more work. For people new to this game, it’s best to start off small. Look into peer-lending and share options which will make you some decent money in a short time; but, have a decent amount of risk. Then, consider some longer options, like government bonds, too. This will give you a good range of choices. So, now, you just have to think about what would be best for you. To get some extra help here, it could be worth talking to a professional investment advisor. These people have loads of experience in this field and can help you make the most of your money.

But, what are the benefits of investing? You have to put in an awful lot of work into something like this. But, when you think about the results; it’s worth it. Over time, your investments will grow and start to generate a decent amount of passive income for you. When you’ve got enough invested; this could cover things like your mortgage or rent each month. And, this is a great benefit. Along with the income benefits, you also benefit from having money saved by inaccessible. This means that you have assets and wealth; but, you can’t waste in on a whim. This gives you the security of a savings account, with the financial gains of a low hours job.

Of course, you can’t just think about the money you make passively, though. You also have to consider the money that you make through your work. As you work on your career, you should always be aiming to make your future brighter. This means that you should never stay in a job for more than a few years without making any progression. It’s essential that you climb the ladder as early as you can. Otherwise, it will be hard for you to find another job which can get you somewhere. Of course, one of the best ways to skip this step is by starting your own business. But, this will be hard in itself.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done; if you want to start working harder on your finances. Most people don’t bother with this sort of effort. And, most people haven’t been taught how to handle it. But, it’s easy to make sure that you’re handling your money well. It just takes some work.

Mind Over Money: Taking Control of Your Finances

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Money isn’t everything in life, and it’s of course possible to be happy and fulfilled without a ton of it in the bank. However, it is still important. Money is what keeps a roof over your head, and food in your stomach. It’s what allows you to get around, and buy the things you need. Therefore, being able to effectively manage what you have (whether it’s a little or a lot) is one of the most important skills to have as an adult. If you know you’re not great with money or are beginning to struggle, here are a few simple tips to help you regain that control.

Create Budget

The first step to taking control of your finances is to know exactly what you’re spending. It’s so easy to buy a magazine here, a coffee there, spend a few dollars on lunch one day. But all these little purchases add up, and if you’re not careful are what will cause you to overspend. Start by working out your expenditures: exactly how much you have coming in and then what goes out. What each of your monthly bills, rent, groceries and everything else costs. That way, anything leftover is what you have to play with and only that. Ideally, you will have a bills bank account where all of the money for essentials is transferred as soon as you’re paid. That way your expendable income is completely separate, it never gets dipped into at all.

Reduce Your Outgoings

Once you know exactly what you’re spending on bills, you can take steps to reduce them if needed. A huge tv and internet package for example might take up a huge part of your budget. Do you really need this? Could you drop it down to a smaller package or even cancel it completely? With inexpensive streaming services like Netflix, you won’t be short on things to watch and could save yourself a huge lump of money each month. Could you be more careful with your gas and electricity usage to reduce your fuel bills? One area where most families overspend is with groceries. If you create a store cupboard with plenty of dry ingredients and seasonings, you can prepare healthy meals for far less than buying everything fresh. For example, wholemeal pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa and other healthy grains pair perfectly with a homemade sauce using canned vegetables, herbs, and spices, Add a little meat from the freezer, and you have a healthy and balanced means during leaner times with money. Making a shopping list before setting out is another way that you will save money since you’ll have a set plan and won’t be as tempted by impulse or unnecessary purchases.

Get a Handle on Debt

Borrowing money can sometimes be useful. It allows us to study or buy houses and cars that we’d never be able to afford outright. But it can also cause a lot of problems too. When you take out loans, credit cards, and store cards for example, it’s easy to live ‘beyond you means’ and end up overcommitted. Before you know it, you might be in a situation where each month you only have enough to cover the interest meaning no money is being taken off the debt, and it doesn’t go down. Speak to a debt charity if you’re in trouble, they will offer you invaluable and non-judgemental advice. If your debt is a student loan, it could be worth looking into Obama student loan forgiveness and seeing if you qualify.

Save For Unexpected Bills

Unfortunately, life has a way of throwing a curveball every now and again. Things are going fine one minute, and the next it’s all going wrong. An unexpected bill drops on your doormat, your car breaks down or your washing machine packs up. This can spell disaster if you’re not prepared. Having a savings account that’s for these kinds of problems can give you a buffer and make life so much easier. Rather than borrowing money, you can sort problems right away and not get into any further trouble.

Teaching Your Kids To Help Their Kids Make Smart Financial Choices

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Money isn’t the most important thing in this world; family is. Nonetheless, your family can benefit greatly from making smarter financial choices. Furthermore, it’s never too early for the children to start learning. They will inevitably pick up habits from their parents and their grandparents. As Grandma or Grandpa, your job is to ensure that those influences are of a positive nature.

The only way to accomplish this challenge is to work together as parents and grandparents to ensure that the children get the very best support. Here’s what you can do as the most senior member of the clan to make it happen.

Lead By Example

You can’t possibly expect your children to become educators unless they’ve been educated themselves. Therefore, financial responsibility needs to start with you. Only then will it trickle down to your grandchildren.

At your advanced stage in life, life insurance should be one of the top items on your agenda. You can visit lifeinsuranceforseniorsover80.com for more info on the best deals and coverage around. Once this is in place, you’ll gain a huge sense of relief knowing that the family is in a better position. Frankly, that’s one of the best parting gifts you could ever leave.

More importantly, though, your commitment to the cause should encourage your children to employ better habits too. If that doesn’t result in a better financial education for the grandkids, nothing will.

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Make A Joint Investment  

Investing savings in an effective manner has become more important than ever, especially as we are living longer. With the cost of living climbing at a far too rapid rate too, building that nest egg for future years will be vital for your kids and your grandchildren. Subsequently, this is one area where you can have a telling influence on their futures.

As an older and wiser member of the family, your input can be extremely useful during this time. The best way to handle this is to be actively involved. Real estate is a particularly popular option for joint family investment. Understanding the different types of ownership, along with the other key elements, will serve all parties well.

In addition to boosting the financial futures of yourself and your children, it will have a huge impact on the grandchildren. Not only because the profits gained will have a direct influence on their lives, but because they’ll pick up important life lessons too.

Teach The Importance Of Budgeting

Even if you live a self-sufficient life, there’s no doubt that you will have encountered moments in earlier life where every penny counted. Your children probably have too, but may have forgotten those lessons now that their troubles in the past. But guess what, those difficult moments are still to come for your grandkids.

With this in mind, cutting unnecessary overspend is something the whole family should be involved in. Whether it’s using coupons for cheap groceries or tailoring broadband packages isn’t overly important. Reducing waste removes financial strain and leaves more capital for life and investments.

Embracing those improved habits is one of the greatest life lessons that you’ll ever impart on both generations. Do not underestimate it for a second.

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Encourage An Appreciation For Hard Work

No two families are identical, especially with regards to financial standing. Whether you’re rich, poor, or somewhere in between will have a major impact on many factors. Regardless of your unique situation, though, gaining an appreciation for the value of money is important for all.

Helping your child help their children to achieve this is best done through making kids work for their money. Of course, young kids shouldn’t be made to do some overly strenuous work. Still, using chores and other tools to promote the feelings of satisfaction gained from working is beneficial. And it will go a long way to aiding them through later life.

In truth, this financial astuteness also encourages an improvement to general personality too. For this reason alone, it’s one of the most important tips you could ever apply.

Be Prepared For The Worst

It’s one thing to get yourself in a comfortable situation for the moment. But what would happen if an unexpected issue occurred? As a wise head, you’d probably be ready to roll with the punches. How about the kids and grandkids, though?

If the answer isn’t an emphatically positive one, a change needs to be made. Workplace injuries, car accidents, and other issues could change a life in a heartbeat. Those impacts aren’t limited to health either and will cause financial problems. Learn about the available legal help at munley.com to help keep the whole family protected. Even if there isn’t a problem yet, knowing how to deal with those situations will remove a huge sense of fear.

Home security and similar preventative measures should also be on the agenda.In an ideal world, they’d never need to use those facilities anyway. Nonetheless, it’s imperative that your kids are aware of them. In turn, they can ensure that their children don’t enter adult life ignoring those factors too.

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Avoiding Temptations

Perhaps the most valuable lesson to teach your family is to stop rushing in to make luxury purchases. Let’s face it; clever advertisers are fantastic at encouraging us to spend money that we don’t have on things we don’t need. While life is to be enjoyed, putting ourselves under long-term stress is not an option.

Therefore, teaching the importance of organization and prioritizing is pivotal. Mortgages, debt repayments, and bills should always take precedence over personal treats. Even if your grandchildren are young, teaching them this at an early age is advised. After all, financial responsibility is a key life element that schools fail to acknowledge.

Once again, the only way to achieve greatness is to work together as a family. If you are repeating the same values that their parents are teaching, the grandkids will soon take note. A brighter financial future for the entire family awaits.