How you handle spending while in school can have a lasting effect on your future financial strength. Prior research has even connected sound financial decisions in college with greater emotional, physical, and intellectual health – along with improving concentration, decision-making, and happiness.
Start the new year with some best practices and creative strategies designed to help positively impact your financial wellness. Here are six actions you can take to work on achieving this goal, starting today:
- Get a diagnostic on your school loans. Call UMA Student Finance at 888-212-5421 to check on the health of your UMA student account. Check that you are only taking out as much as you need in loans to cover tuition and school-related costs. The less you take out now means the less you will have to pay back later — with interest.
- Keep a pulse on your extra purchases. Review your bank statement from the last month. Do you see any unnecessary expenses? A seven-dollar mochaccino with extra whip cream is nice on occasion, but not as an everyday expense. Also, trendy clothes and shoes that seemed like must-haves on a mall outing with friends may just pile up in your closet and work against your ability to save funds for more important needs.
- Give your creativity a check-up. Brainstorm ways to earn extra cash that won’t conflict with your school schedule. If you like to drive, consider working part-time for a ride-share app. If you can play an instrument or know a lot about a certain subject, develop a small set of clients you can tutor or coach. Babysitting or providing support for housebound older adults are also solid gigs for students. Even a good old-fashioned bake sale is never out of the question.
- Examine your budget before you charge. USA Today reports that the average person pays $1,045 per year in credit card interest alone. That’s in addition to the balance you owe, or the original amount you charged. Use credit cards wisely and only charge expenses that you have planned for. If possible, try to pay your full balance every month. This can save you a lot of money if you tend to carry credit card balances from one month to the next.
- Pay on time. A late payment on a credit card bill now will show on your credit report well into the future — or for up to seven years down the road. This could impact your loan rates when you go to make a big purchase, such as a home or vehicle. Set your accounts up on auto payment when you can. For those that you can’t, make a notation of the due date on your calendar so you don’t accidentally forget to make a payment.
- Budget for financial wellness. Just as you would create a plan to eat better and exercise to improve your physical health, you can also plan a plan (a.k.a. a budget) to improve your financial health. While in school, budget for things that can impact your success, such as tuition, books, housing, utilities, and grocery essentials. If you have any dollars left at the end of the month, place this money in a savings account. Once you are out of school, you can use your savings to get a start on school loan payments.
- Top Money Mistakes College Students Make
- 15 Common Financial Mistakes That College Students Make
- Saving Money as a Student: 6 Tips to Save Money While Studying
UMA knows that many students juggle work and family life while going to school. That’s why we have a built-in support system. Our Learner Services Advisors are here for you. Call 888-216-0544. We encourage you to reach out with questions and concerns.
UMA Cares handles important student issues that may need to be addressed with special attention. UMA Cares takes all inquiries seriously and responds in a timely manner. Visit UltimateMedical.edu/uma-cares/ to make your voice heard.
UMA Wellness Center
Stay tuned to the UMA Wellness Center for new blog posts! Wellness is incredibly important to your studies and your overall health. UMA is committed to providing you and your household with access to wellness resources. You and your household can use these resources to work toward your health and wellbeing!
UMA does not endorse any vendors, products, or services presented in the UMA Wellness Blog Series, and UMA bears no responsibility in any capacity as it relates to such vendors, products, or services. The information on wellness or related services is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional financial advice. Please contact the vendor or service provider for answers to questions regarding its content, products, or services.