Though it’s only July, August will soon be here meaning that any of you with college students will help them move back to school or will be moving them into their dorm for the first time. With average student loan debt in the United States creeping upward every year (it’s up to $28,400 for the 2013 grads), your college-age kids may need to be smarter with their money.
Enter the friendly staff members at Iowa State Bank who have come up with some great money tips to help your kids not just through college, but also to prepare them for “the real world.”
Create a budget- it doesn’t have to be anything complicated. For one month, get a receipt for everything you purchase. After the month is over, add up those receipts to see what you spent versus what you gained. Trust us; there will be areas where you can cut spending.
Start learning how to save- yes, it may be cool to have the latest clothes and tech gadgets, but try not to replace smart saving with instant gratification. Try saving 7-10 percent of any wages you get for larger, more important purchases down the road.
Look for more funding- there are tons of scholarships and discounts out there, so get exploring! There are many great places on the internet to look for scholarships, and you can ask the admissions office or academic counselor about certain discounts you may be eligible for.
Use the credit card for emergencies only- oh yes, there is a temptation to use that credit card for a new pair of shoes or a new TV, but that money isn’t free. If you don’t have the funds in your checking account to pay for something, you definitely won’t be able to afford it with the tacked on interest from a credit card.
The $50 Rule- if there’s something you want that’s over $50, stop and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”
These are just a few tips for you or your college-aged child to make less of a financial drain. If there’s anything Iowa State Bank can do to help, just let us know and we’ll be glad to assist!