Finance In College: 10 Things Teens Should Know


While it may seem impossible for college students to be able to save money especially with already limited resources, it's actually just about setting one's priorities straight and learning to live according to one's means. It is important to be financially smart as early as your freshman year since it will most definitely affect your future.

A simple budgeting rule that college students can follow is the 50/20/30 rule. 50 percent of your income, after tax, should go to expenses for housing, food, transportation and utility. 20 percent should be allocated for your savings and retirement. 30 percent would be for lifestyle expenses such as gym memberships, weekend trips, your mobile phone plan, cable bill and coffee shop trips, among others.

U.S. News shared 10 things that teens should know about money. These ideas would help college students make smarter choices financially.

1. Start early with your savings. It was noted that, among the current generation of teens, 57 percent said that saving money was "very important" to them.

2. Parents should be involved. Teens would learn a lot by talking with people who are older than them, especially when it comes to money management.

3. The stock market could be your friend. Investing in the stock market can actually help you with your long-term and retirement savings.

4. Refrain from using your credit card. Teens reportedly carry about $749 in debt, on average, up from last year's $485. This kind of debt is more expensive since fees and interest rates can add to the total cost.

5. Guard your financial information, such as your Social Security number as well as credit card and banking information. Identity theft has become quite common and can end up costing you a lot of money.

6. It's all about priority. Identify what are your needs and wants and spend money according to importance.

7. Know what you want to achieve. Write down your short-term and long-term goals. This can help guide your spending habits.

8. Learn from your mistakes. It's better to make financial blunders now than later in life where there's more at stake.

9. Be smart about spending. Shop at thrift stores as well as vintage shops and embrace the do-it-yourself culture.

10. Have an additional income stream with a side business. This can help your budget and provide you valuable entrepreneurial experience.

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