As a college student, ending up being in some student debt is often inevitable. With tuition fees on the rise, more and more students are having to borrow substantial amounts of money when it comes to making sure that they get a higher education. Along with this, the cost of student living is also expensive, meaning that many students have to borrow further money, for example in the form of loans, credit cards and overdrafts in order to ensure that their living expenses are covered whilst they study for their degree. We’ve put together a list of handy tips to help you avoid getting into any more student debt than necessary.
Start Saving Early
Whether you’re applying to study on campus or want to pursue an online business administration degree, for example, saving up as much money as you can and as early as you can will help you to be able to cover the costs of college without having to borrow as much money. Many students are even taking a year out of education in between graduating high school and starting college, so that they can work full-time and start putting away savings which will help them financially with their degree.
Online education is an alternative option that’s become more and more popular in recent times. Not only is online study available to anybody and has a range of different courses to choose from including online business programs, healthcare degrees, and other subjects which lead to great career paths, it’s also a cheaper option, with many colleges charging much less in the way of tuition fees. Because of this, opting to study for all or some of your degree online could definitely help you to avoid hefty debts. This is not only because you’ll pay less to study, but the flexibility of online degrees also means that it’s easier to work at the same time.
Apply for Scholarships
If possible, every student who’s applying for university should also apply for as many scholarships and financial aid grants as they can. Although not everybody will be entitled to a scholarship or financial aid, it’s definitely worth trying for as there are lots of different reasons as to why students are granted this monetary help. Scholarships aren’t just available for sports courses, either – there are many different organizations and bodies which will award financial support to students.
Avoid Credit Cards
Often, credit card companies will prey on students who are hoping to have some extra spending money. Yes, a credit card with a few thousand dollars ready for you to spend might seem tempting, but you also have to think about how you’re going to pay whatever you spend back. If you can get by without a credit card at college, you definitely should, as it’ll be worth it in the end when you’re in less debt.
Studying for a degree is definitely not cheap, and for many students, this means that borrowing money is unavoidable. However, there are plenty of great strategies to reduce the amount of debt that you’ll find yourself in when you grad
Credit reports can be overwhelming and may be ignored if you are unsure which habits are good or bad. There are myths that are associated with credit that are actually false.
Closing Credit Cards Will Improve My Score
Some think that just because you paid off an account that it should be closed, but this will actually hurt you as it decreases your total available credit. The best thing you can do is cut up the card, never use, and keep the account open, proving you do not spend your max capacity.
Opening a New Credit Account Will Kill My Credit Score
If you are opening many accounts, yes they will lower your score a few times for each lender that is reviewing your credit account, but if you are being responsible, the short-term score dropping a few points will actually help in the long run as your credit availability will increase as will your score.
Too Many Credit Checks Will Lower My Score
As long as you are checking your own credit your score will not be impacted, as these are called “soft pulls”. Having lenders check your credit while taking an application for a home, auto, or credit card purpose will lower your score a few points each time, so make sure that if you are getting approved for something, you will go through with it, and do not open up too many credit accounts. Though it is possible to learn how to remove credit inquiries from lowering your score.
My Income or Bank Account Impacts My Score
Although your employment history may be reported on your credit report, typically your salary will not, and for sure will not impact your credit score, as well as the amount of money in the bank. Credit scores factor in payment history, debt, and inquiries, so there is no need to worry, at least about the income and asset piece.
Bad Credit is here for Good
Well although it may seem like forever until your score goes from “poor” to “excellent”, bad credit is not forever. Sure it may take years to improve your score, but with responsible payment history, removing debt, and not living beyond your means, you will see your score steadily rise quickly. Late payments significantly lower scores so any days of being over 30 days late need to be gone, and watch your credit balance versus your availability because scores factor in your spending reaching its max.
Going to the movies used to be a big deal, as it meant a night on the town, dressed up, seeing a newly released movie that had not been seen yet. While the Hollywood premiere may not take place for all of us these days, movies still hold a special place in entertainment, much as sports and music have as well. While a movie used to only cost a quarter and now we are paying over ten dollars for premium movies and times, and even more for 3-D shows.
According to a recent study by MooseRoots, a genealogy data site from Graphiq, calculated what the inflation-adjusted cost of the movie ticket would be in 2016, taken from the average cost of a movie ticket since 1940 from the Motion Picture Association of America. The comparison may be somewhat surprising:
1940 – Cost $0.24 (real 2016 cost $4.09)
1950 – Cost $0.50 (real 2016 cost $4.97)
1960 – Cost $0.60 (real 2016 cost $4.87)
1970 – Cost $1.55 (real 2016 cost $10.00)
1980 – Cost $2.69 (real 2016 cost $8.77)
1990 – Cost $4.23 (real 2016 cost $8.08)
2000 – Cost $5.39 (real 2016 cost $7.66)
2010 – Cost $7.89 (real 2016 cost $8.71)
2016 – $8.70
As you can see using the 2016 cost from 1940 of $4.09 compared to $8.70 now, there is a 213% increase, but when you think about it, is only a few dollars over the course of the past 76 years.
Perhaps another study may not say the same for concessions however, where in addition to the cost of the movie ticket, one can expect to pay $6 for a small popcorn or soda, or $10 for a cocktail if your local theater sells liquor. Not only is it an expensive date, but if you have an entire family going to see a (probably) mediocre movie, along with some snacks and drinks could cost upwards of $100. With matinee pricing being considerably less, or seeing a movie during a week day during later hours, could save half of the average ticket price. You could always wait until it comes to a second-run theater, or with the amount of home theaters that can rival the real deal, rent the movie at home when it comes out for a few dollars and curl up and enjoy with the family.
This has been a very hot summer in my area, and it seems like the air conditioner is kicking on every fifteen minutes or so, increasing my electric bill significantly. No doubt, it is time to make sure your home is as energy efficient as it can be and seal up gaps in your home. Winter is a prime time of the year to do this, as it is easy to feel with your hand any cold air that may be entering in unwanted areas, so if you missed taking care of that earlier this year, it makes it a little tricky now that we are in the warmer months. With the typical family wasting upwards of $350 per year in air leaks into our out of your home, if you want your gas bill to lower in the winter and electric in the summer, now is as good of time as any to do the most cost-effective approach: do it yourself.
Caulk around Windows and Doors
Double check each window, inside and out, to make sure there are no cracks, and re-caulk around any windows and doors in need. Replace any doors that lead to the outside that may be in need of an upgrade, whether it is a front door or a door that leads to the garage. Make sure it is a tight fit between the ground and bottom of the door to ensure no excess air escapes.
Gaps to the Outside
If you have any lines from the outside coming in, whether it is cable, or electric, this would be a good time to check to make sure there are no gaps leading to the outside. Take the outlet cover’s off on the inside and add insulation if necessary. Check around any water lines, as I had recently discovered bees were getting in, so I used foam insulation spray to make sure there was no room to enter.
Time to go in the Attic
If you have not been up to your attic in a while, this may be the opportunity. As the hottest place in your house, you will want to make sure that no additional air is coming in or out. Make sure there is ample amount of insulation on the floor between the attic and living space, to ensure that air is trapped up there.