5 Important Financial Tips in College

Being a college student has its perks. You can just ask for a weekly or monthly allowance from your parents until that day that you earn a university diploma. However, being a student has its downside, too. This means having limited money in your pocket that may not be enough to cover some of your needs—and unfortunately, most of your wants. However, this can be the best time to learn practical personal finance skills before joining the workforce.

Here is a rundown of some practical and important financial tips in college that students may want to consider for them to become stress-free in working with a meager budget while at the university:

Create a budget, and stick with it

This is certainly the most important thing to remember. Start by listing down your estimated expenses per month. In listing these items down, make sure to take into account school supplies, eat outs, and even laundry expenses. You may want to use a personal expense tracker to check if you are still living within your budget. Take note of your sources of income as well, which may include parental allowances or income from a part-time job.

Minimize your debt

Since you have limited sources of income, you might need to borrow money at one point. If you cannot avoid availing loans, make sure that you minimize debt. Start by borrowing only the amount you actually need. Try getting a part-time job to help you settle the debt before the amount is due as longer payment terms would mean higher interest rates. A debt-free lifestyle is something anyone, not just students, should aim for. Also, in addition to applying for traditional scholarships, seeking out weird scholarships can sometimes mean an easier win as they sometimes have limited competition.

Take advantage of student discounts

Some underestimate the benefits of student discounts. Imagine eating or commuting to school every day, and getting a few dollars worth of discount within your entire stay at the university. This may equal to hundreds or thousands of dollars when combined. This is one of the most important financial tips in college that you have to bear in mind.

Look for cheaper leisure options

All work and no play will certainly make you dull; this is also applicable for students like you. While you are expected to study hard, and graduate within the prescribed time frame, you are not prohibited to have fun sometimes. It may be a good reward after a week of exams. But instead of partying at a fancy bar, you may want to encourage your classmates to go somewhere else. You can go together to a public beach and cook your own food or watch a movie at a nearby mall.

Set a limit

If you know your financial limit, you know when to stop spending. You may impose a weekly limit for your self. This will push you to focus on your needs and spend on your wants only when you have extra bucks.

This is just a quick rundown of important financial tips in college. For sure, you still have a lot of practical tips that you have been following since you started studying. Stick to those means, and you will never have to suffer financially. You can find more helpful articles at http://easyscholarshipsnow.com

Top 4 Tips for Starting Fresh Financially

Let’s be honest, there are a lot of people who make financial mistakes in the United States. Some of those mistakes are made even though the person who made them knew they shouldn’t have but, in most cases, mistakes were made by people who simply didn’t realize that they weren’t handling the finances correctly.

For those people, and for anyone else who wants to start fresh financially, the next 4 Tips will help you to do just that and get a fresh financial start. Enjoy.

Tip #1: Get over the blame and get on with your life

What most people don’t realize about starting fresh financially is that, more than money or financial status, the most important thing to do is put aside your guilt and blame. You might blame yourself, you might blame your spouse and both of you might have guilt, but if you want to move on financially and really start fresh, you have to put those aside completely. Focusing on the future, no matter what mistakes you made before, is the only way to truly make a fresh start. Besides that, the past is the past. To start fresh financially, you have to leave it there.

Tip #2: Put together a complete list of all of your finances

Let’s put it this way; if you want to make it to a specific destination, you have to know where to start. With finances it’s the same thing. Knowing exactly where you stand right now, financially, is the best way to put together a plan to get you where you want to be financially in the future. We’re talking about everything, including your mortgage, credit cards, 401(k)s, IRAs, investments and anything else where you have money. gather it all up and give yourself a complete overview of where you stand.

Tip #3: Take control of your credit cards

Here’s a fact; there’s no way you can control what happens to the stock market, the housing market or, for that matter, even what happens at the supermarket. On the other hand, you can definitely control what happens with your credit cards as far as how you use them, how you pay them every month and also paying off your credit card debt.

Make this the year that you pay down debt, starting with the credit card that has the highest interest and focusing on that card until it’s completely paid off.  Don’t cut it up or cancel it, but simply put it aside somewhere safe where you won’t use it and start with the next, paying all of them off one at a time.

If you qualify, open a card that will let you your balances for free without 0% introductory interest rate for 6 to 12 months so you can save money while you were paying down the debt. If you can’t, just follow the advice you gave in the preceding paragraph.

Tip #4: Start saving everywhere and on everything

People complain that they don’t have any money left over at the end of the month are either making very little (which is an unfortunate possibility) or, instead, are simply spending all of their money on unnecessary or unneeded items. If that’s you, it’s time to put the brakes on all that spending and start saving instead. That means evaluating every single purchase and determining whether you truly need that thing (whatever it happens to me) or if you indeed do not.

If you can really put all 4 of these Tips into play this year, by the end of 2015 your finances will be looking much better and 2016 will be an excellent year financially. It might take some effort, patience and diligence but, if you really want to start fresh financially, the end result will definitely be worth it.

It Only Takes a Little Money to Start Investing

Many consumers are under the false impression that, in order to invest, they need a lot of money. That’s very far from the truth and, in fact, you can start investing with as little as $50.

You read correctly. $50 is all it takes to get started investing and use your hard-earned money to make more money.

Below are a number of investing tips that you can easily use even if you make minimum wage. Enjoy.

The first is possibly the easiest and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to take advantage of it. It’s your employers 401(k) matching plan, and the list of low-cost mutual funds that they offer in those plans as well. Using both allows almost any employee to build a sensible, diversified portfolio. Even better, there is no minimum requirement to get started.

Next are target date retirement funds. These offer well diversified portfolios that are geared towards people who are closing in on retirement, and mature of the year indicated in the name of each fund. One of the best is Vanguard Group’s target date fund,  for a number of reasons, including the fact that they have annual expenses of a low .17%. This means that on every hundred dollars you invest, you only pay $.17 in management and other fees. Each of their funds contains a mix of both market tracking stock and bond index funds and, as the fund approaches its maturity date, they become more conservative as well.  The only drawback to this one is that there is $1000 minimum, but if you start now and save only $100 a month you can have $1000 saved by the end of 2015.

Need a minimal lower than $1000? Then the 5 conventional stock index mutual funds, and the 3 bond index funds, offered by Charles Schwab are your best bet, because they all come with $100 minimums. Not only that but the charges for their US total stock market fund are only .09% and their international index fund and total bond market fund aren’t much higher than that.

The problem with mutual funds is that they can only be bought and sold once a day, when the stock market closes. On the other hand, exchange traded funds or ETF’s can be traded any time, as long as the market is open. To do this you would need to open a brokerage account in order to purchase them.

There’s no required minimum to open a brokerage account at several companies, including Merrill Edge, TD Ameritrade, ShareBuilder and TradeKing.   If you have $500 you can open an account with E*Trade and, with $1000, at Schwab. With Schwab however, if you put $100 into your account every month, they will waive the $1000 minimum.

Even better, you can trade some ETF’s at specific brokerage firms without having to pay a commission, but check before you do to make sure that their annual expenses are .2% or lower.

Finally, there are actively managed funds. There are a number of ways to get into an actively managed fund for $50 or $100, but if you have $1000 you should definitely consider T. Rowe Price group’s target date retirement funds. The reason is because they have a much better diversification.

One last note about investing with a small amount of money is this; in order to turn that into a large amount of money, you have to keep investing more and more as you go. Investing $100 and then doing nothing more isn’t going to make you a lot of money but, if you save as much as you possibly can every month, you will definitely put together an excellent portfolio with a solid value that, by the time you retire, should be quite sizable.

Learn How to Double Your Money!

OK, let’s cut to the chase; everyone knows that the best way to make money on your money is to invest it, but we also all know that the stock market can yield a lot of different amounts of returns and that, whether professional or amateur, those future returns are never guaranteed.

With that in mind it’s best to invest money that you won’t need for at least a few years, if not for a few decades.

Simply put, when it comes to investing, time is definitely one of your best advocates. In fact, it’s pretty much the only way to guarantee that the money you invest will return high single digits or low double-digit returns. Also, when you think about it, if you are going to invest money you should consider investing it for at least 10 if not 20 or 30 years. The only reason to not do that is for the money you have an emergency fund and, even with that money, you can put it in a short-term investment that carries little or no penalties for early withdrawal (in case of emergency).

Another fact is that letting your money sit in a savings account is absolutely the worst choice to make, especially when most are delivering less than 1% interest while inflation is rising at about 2% per year. In other words, putting your money into a savings account is basically losing money because it won’t have the same buying power next year as it does right now.

Many people use the “rule of 72″ to figure out how long will it take to double their money, and it’s actually a great rule and a great way to do it. Here’s how it works; take the annual rate of return that you expect and divide it by 72. That will give you a rough estimate of how long it will be before your initial investment is 100% higher.

A good example of this is that if you invest one dollar at 10%, it will take approximately 7.2 years for the one dollar to turn into two dollars. (72÷10 = 7 .2) the same math tell you that $10,000 will take just over seven years to turn into $20,000.

Take that same $10,000 and let it sit in a savings account with a 1% interest rate per year (which is quite generous actually) and it would take 72 years to turn into $20,000! If you have an extra 60 years to wait, this would be a great choice. If not, it definitely isn’t. (And yes, were being facetious.)

In the long run, 7% is about average for stock market returns, meaning that it might take slightly longer or slightly less than 10 years to double your money, but the Rule of 72 definitely shows that investing your money is much better than putting it into a savings account, and the best way to double it.