Theaverage debt for undergraduate students when they leave college is $25,000. Undergraduates are caring record- high credit card balances. The average balance is $3,173. As a nation, we are spending more and saving less each year.
Don‟t spend what you don‟t have. Pay yourself first. Get in the habit of putting money aside and saving it for short and long-term savings. Developa plan both for spending (budget and savings).
Know how much money is coming in (pay checks, financial aid, family contributions, gifts). Know how much money is going out and track it.Are you spending more money on want than needs? It is okay to spend some money on wants but be sure you can cover needs and can save some dollars too.Look at how you are spending your money Are you spending more then you are taking in? Are you using credit cards or borrowing money to make ends meet? Do you have places where your money is just disappearing such as on coffee or eating out?
WHERE IS ALL YOUR MONEY? Are you spending more money on wants than needs? It is okay to spend some money on wants but be sure you can cover needs and can save some dollars too. Are you spending more than you are taking in? Are you using credit cards or borrowing money to make ends meet? Do you have places where your money is just disappearing, such as on coffee or eating out?
Needs are expenses required for living: Fixed expenses (rent, car payment, school loans) and variable expenses (gas, food, phone).Wants are things we buy but don‟t necessarily need, such as clothing, movies,eating out, coffee.Are you spending more money on want than needs? It is okay to spend some moneyon wants but be sure you can cover needs and can save some dollars too.
Areyou spending more then you are taking in? Are you using credit cards or borrowing money to make ends meet? Doyou have places where your money is just disappearing such as on coffee or eating out?
Advantages Disadvantages Buy goods as needed and pay Buy what you can‟t afford gradually Increased impulse buying Creates a record of purchases Interest charges mean higher cost of Emergencies items Level out „peaks‟ and „valleys‟ in Can be thought of as increased income and expenses income Convenience May require additional fees. Less to carry around If you lose track of how much bought on credit, financial trouble Consolidates bills into one could occur. payment
Your responsibility Borrow only what you can repay Know your credit limit and your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Read and understand the credit contract Pay debts promptly Notify creditor if you cannot meet payments Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately Watch out for billing errors Never give your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call or are certain of the caller‟s identity Check your FREE credit report at AnnualCreditReport.comLook for a credit company that offers… Low interest rates or finance charges (combined, they are called APR) Low or no annual fees A grace period (time during which no payments are due) before finance charges are posted Other benefits including purchase warranties, free gas, airline miles, etc.
Don‟t have more then one or two credit cards. Watch out for carrying balances. Some cards charge 20% or more in interest/finance charges. Try to pay off your credit card each month. If you can‟t always pay more than the minimum balance, pay as much as you can. Think about your purchases. If you are not able to afford the purchase now, chances are you wont be able to afford it in a month when the credit card bill comes in!
Always pay yourself first, that means put even a little money away into savings. Even a little bit of money will grow over time. If you spend 2-3 dollars/day on “snacks” (coffee, soda, candy, bagels), and instead start saving $2.30 a day in an account that pays 5.3% interest you will have over $9,000 in 10 years. Look for ways to save money. Examples: Skip the latte, avoid the mall, look for recreation instead of entertainment, buy used textbooks, carpool or use public transportation, take advantage of students rates, be careful with credit, eat cheap, use coupons. What are ways you save $$$?
Short-term goals include such things as covering down payment on a car or going on spring break. Medium-term goals require greater sums of money such as paying off student loans. Long-term goals including saving for retirement.