How To Manage Your Finances at University

Managing your money at university is a big responsibility. Our editor has some quick tips for you to follow to maintain balance and sensible with your finances.

PUBLISHED APRIL 2, 2020

•   BY SEGILOLA APOOYIN 

•   FINANCE

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, an economic expansion lasts on average just over three years. In January, our economic expansion celebrated the 11-year mark and there has been a flurry of talk about the possibility of a recession. Nobody can say for sure when the economy will turn south, so the best strategy is to be prepared for whenever it might. 

 

Who knows what might go down in a recession? Job loss could be critical if you’re already stretched with student loans or other debt. Hopefully, you have savings to keep you afloat. If not, credit cards might prop you up, but is an option that should be considered carefully.

 

Here are some tips to help you stay proactive about your finances—and maybe even thrive—in the face of a possible recession. If you’re looking for more thoughtful money advice, like how to manage your money in the gig economy, the best B Corp banks, and socially responsible investing platforms, check out our Mind Your Money series.

1.

Build an emergency fund

Have cash set aside to help you make it through an extended period of joblessness. An emergency fund is money to fall back on when you need it. Even if you don't lose your job, credit can be tough to come by during a recession. An emergency fund can also come in handy if you have an unexpected expense like a medical bill, car repair, or need to replace a major appliance. Understand that you may not have your go-to; the bank of mom and dad or friends and family might also have their own financial issues.

 

What do the financial pros suggest? Work to have at least three to six months of expenses saved. Reality check: I have a snowball’s chance in hell of doing that, but I’m not letting that stop me. I’m doing the best I can, saving a little something-something every week. Remember, anything beats zero. Do what you can.

2.

Get debt under control

Having fewer debt obligations will reduce your stress if money becomes tight during a recession. Find out how much you owe on all of your accounts, and make a plan for paying down or paying off debt. 

Consider the avalanche method for paying down debt, where you make minimum payments on all your bills and use any remaining money to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate. Or do the snowball method, which means paying off the smallest debts first and then moving on to the biggies. I like the snowball method because there’s sweet, sweet satisfaction when you can kiss a bill goodbye. The relief is invigorating and motivates you to hit the repeat button and wipe out the next one.

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Segilola Apooyin

I'm Content Editor at WIAN, and passionate about sustainable architecture, inclusive design and development.

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