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Money Tips College Freshmen Should Know

Money Tips College Freshmen Should Know

Take note of some of these tips, as some of them will serve you well later in life too. Money tips are needed in college because students have severely limited funds, but many of the tips can also be used as you get older.

Share car journeys, especially to the store

This is a tip that will save you money in the long run. When your student friends are going to the grocery store, share a car ride, with each person chipping in for gas. The more people that go, then the more economical the journey becomes—meaning that all of the students save money.

Keep your money in the bank

Money is safer in a bank than in your shared housing or dorm. Theft is a problem everywhere, and not just in colleges and in dorms. Criminal sorts are attracted to colleges and college dorms, where trusting or drunk students are ripe for the robbing. They will take anything from your car keys and laptop, to the loose change you threw on your desk. If you live with other students or share a dorm, then your housemates/roommate’s next lover may be a criminal on the job.

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Having money means not spending

How rich a person becomes has less to do with how much they earn and more to do with how much they save. The reasoning behind this could fill a best UK essay. Suffice it to say that the money rich people have is through the money they have not spent, and yet your mind has been conditioned to spend, spend, spend. Test yourself and your friends to see how conditioned they are. Ask them, if you won $20,000 tomorrow, what would you do with it? If they do not say, “save it” or “put it in the bank”, then they are conditioned to spend.

As soon as most people get any money, they instantly start deciding how to get rid of it (spend it). And, the chances are that most of your friends would start listing off the ways they would get rid of their money as quickly as they got it.

Snack if you must, but snack cheaply

Convenience food is the enemy of the student. If you want to save money, then get into the habit of having three meals per day and no more. Make sure that they are substantial meals that fill you up so you won’t be tempted to snack during the day, which is going to cost you money.

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Don’t sell anything

This tip is short because it needs to be remembered. Students will often sell their items to fellow students on eBay and Amazon, and they think that they are being shrewd, in fact they do not realize they are losing money.

If you were to write an essay on economics, you may first take note of assets. Each item you own is an asset and has its place in saving you money. You may think that selling twenty of your DVDs may bring in some quick cash, however over the next year you are going to become bored. And, one of those DVDs may have helped stop you running out and buying other DVDs, or console games, or may have provided you and your partner with a cheap night in, instead of an expensive night out.

Only sell items if you are sure you can make a lot more than they are worth, and then repurchase them cheaply so that you may keep the profit.

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Keep your car well maintained

A lack of oil is the difference between yearly maintenance and having to buy a new car. The air in your tire will dictate how much fuel your car uses. Having your boot or car filled with items you do not need will cost you money in fuel. In Britain, a study proved that simply having a moustache will cost you $15 per year (based on the extra weight, and adjusted for current fuel prices).

Learn how to swap and borrow

Do it with people that you trust. The worst thing you can do is lend to a person who purposefully, or accidentally, forgets you have leant them something. Swapping console games and DVDs is a great way of saving money. As is lending and borrowing things such as video camera, professional cameras, cars and even space in a freezer.

Energy creation devices are too expensive

A solar-powered mobile phone battery charger may seem like a wise investment, but it is not. The cheap Chinese-made ones are only trickle chargers to keep the battery topped up (read the small print on the instructions). Any device that will charge your phone battery from dead, and then stop charging when it is full, is going to cost you a lot of money. Similar devices are equally as ineffective, such as phone and laptop chargers that use kinetic energy.

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Gather in groups

You will find that you do not need the pubs, cinemas, or other entertainment facilities if you gather in groups of friends. Many happy hours may be spent on the grass watching your team or just having a chat with friends. Many groups of happy teens have spent hours having a Jackass movie marathon and maybe having a drink every time the little fella comes on screen (he is the only reason those movies are watchable).

I hope these tips will be useful for you and you’ll be able to save some cash and learn how to spend your money and time wisely.

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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