How to Manage Finances When Going Back to School While Working
For adults who are employed while going to school, it can be challenging financially to make ends meet each month due to the cost of education. Managing your finances is essential to ensure that you can survive each semester until graduating. When you want to learn how to manage your money well while enrolled in school, there are a few important steps to take.
Consider cutting coupons to avoid paying full-price for food and household items that you purchase each week. Many different coupons are available online that can be printed and used at the register when checking out. Manufacturer coupons are also available in the Sunday newspaper and will allow you to save more money on items like toilet paper, cereal, and cleaning products.
Avoid Dining Out
Although it can be fun to socialize and eat out with other students or friends, the cost can add up each month and make it difficult to survive while going back to school. Make it a point to eat at home and prepare your own meals to save money. Create a meal plan each week and buy ingredients in bulk to save more throughout the year.
Find the Best Loan
It’s important to do your research when shopping around for a loan for school to avoid paying a high interest rate with your lending service. Your total debt that you’ve accumulated when you graduate should be less than what you expect to earn with your salary. You should be able to repay the loan in less than 10 years. Older students should also avoid borrowing as much money as younger students.
Avoid Using Credit Cards
Many students make the mistake of relying on credit cards to get by while enrolled in school, which can cause you to accumulate a significant amount of debt on top of the student loans that you’ve already obtained. Avoid using credit cards and rely on cash to make purchases, which can allow you to become more aware of what you’re spending throughout the week.
Build an Emergency Savings Fund
Make it a point to save at least $1,000 for an emergency fund that can cover unexpected costs that arise while you’re in school. Emergencies are bound to occur from time to time, which can include having to pay for car repairs or medical expenses. Having the extra money on hand when it’s needed can allow you to cover the costs and avoid using your credit card.
Purchase Secondhand Supplies and Textbooks
You’ll need to shop smart when buying what you need for school, which includes everything from your computer to textbooks. Take advantage of student discounts that are available at major stores or online for added savings. You can also save more money by purchasing secondhand textbooks to avoid paying full-price for books you’ll only use for a semester or two.
Knowing how to manage your finances when going back to school can offer peace of mind. You’ll also be able to focus more on your studies instead of worrying about how you’ll cover all of your expenses throughout the year.