The last thing anyone wants to live with is regret. Yet, many college students find themselves dealing with regret as they graduate and move on in life. The experts at ScholarSwag explain some of the financial regrets former college students have and outline ways you can keep your own remorse at bay.
1. Not saving beforehand
Though many students turn to student loans and college jobs to fund their education, they might end up wishing they had saved up more money before enrolling. Some ways of doing so include working during high school, saving up allowance and gift money, or even taking a year off to work and save. Either way, you’ll feel relieved when you can dip into an interest-yielding account after burning through any money from graduation parties and parental handouts.
2. Racking up credit cards
According to Sallie Mae’s “How America Pays for College” 2015 report, undergraduates carry an average of $1,410 in credit card debt.
Credit cards can be beneficial for establishing and building credit, but one thing they are not is free money. Any purchase put on a card will need to be paid back – with interest, more than likely.
If you find yourself relying too heavily on credit cards, ask yourself if you’re making essential purchases. Chances are, you could tailor your spending habits and live a little more frugally.
3. Relying too heavily on student loans
In a study by Citizens Bank, 77 percent of former college students age 40 and younger said they wished they had better planned for managing their student loan debt. Additionally, nearly a quarter of students from the study claim they can’t stay current on their debt payments while nearly two-thirds say they’re uncomfortable with the amount of student debt they took on.
Are you a current student looking for ways to reduce that loan amount? Aim to only take out loans for educational expenses. You might also find it worthwhile to secure a job or apply for more scholarships and grants, as they provide money you won’t need to pay back.
4. Failing to explore more wallet-friendly schools
It can be beneficial for incoming college students to explore more cost-effective options for their education, such as enrolling at a public university or community college as opposed to a more costly private school. This may not be the answer for more specialized career paths, but if your major of choice involves a more general program, you might have the freedom to attend elsewhere.
5. Wasting time, and thus, money
Taking time to explore majors might seem beneficial – and maybe even enjoyable – but it can also get costly. If you find yourself struggling with choosing a major, it might be helpful to delay or take a year off from school; you could use the time off to explore your skillset as well as career options that utilize those skills. Remember: Each semester you spend in school equals four months you’re not earning money in the job market.
For more information on financial aid and college planning, please visit ScholarSwag‘s website!