Surveys prove that many college students graduate with unpaid debts on their student loans which can amount to $20,000. Those who are still in college are faced with credit card debts amounting to $7,000 or even more. Even worse, there are many at a young age of 15-25 have already filed for bankruptcy. If you’re a teen who owns a credit card for students, these staggering surveys should definitely concern you. What can you do to avoid falling victim of bad credit?
Here are some valuable tips you can in your personal life as a student to help you manage your finances wisely.
Make a Commitment
Bad credit usually results from splurging or uncontrolled spending. In order to avoid paying for unreasonably high balances, as a student you should have the will to restrain yourself from spending on things that are not really necessary. Every time you plan on buying, ask yourself, “do I really need this or do I just want it?” If you know that you can get by without making that purchase then, have the will to back out.
Don’t use your credit card on every little thing you need. When you eat outside or go to the movies, don’t charge it on your credit card. You should change your outlook about owning a credit card. It doesn’t give you the leeway to spend on all the things you want. Always keep in mind that you are still responsible in paying back the charges on your credit card.
Budget Your Money
It’s important to have a written plan of your monthly finances. List your exact budget for the entire month and your expenses. Compare the results and you’ll see how you’ve been managing your money in the past. Are your expenses way more than the money you really have? This will be your reality check on how much you’ve been actually charging on you credit card. So what will you do about it?
From now on, you should have a monthly plan where you will list your allowance for the month and all the things that you need to buy. Your expenses should always be less than your monthly allowance. Try to save a portion from your budget which you can keep as your personal emergency fund. This will be the money you will spend on situations when you really need the money urgently. Also, save another portion from your budget which you can spend on perks and personal indulgence. Always take a look at your monthly plan and make sure that you’re not spending out of your limit.
Don’t Rely on Others for Financial Help
Now that you’re old enough to have your own credit card, be a responsible person. Don’t think that you can always rely on your family or your relatives for financial help in case you get stuck in debt. With this mind set, there’s a big tendency that you won’t be taking your finances seriously. As early as now, practice independence. Knowing that you are solely responsible for the debts you owe will keep you aware about your spending habits.
Credit cards for students do not have to be such a bad thing. However, if you notice that you are having problems in keeping up with your balances, then it’s time to change. Consider the above suggestions carefully. They are the key to managing your finances.
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