Healthy financial habits for college freshman

College is a great educational experience both in and out of the classroom. While everyone expects to learn more about the academic side of college, there are also a lot of important life skills learned during this time. For example, college freshman often learns a lot of important financial lessons that they can benefit from over the course of their entire life. Below are a couple healthy financial habits to get into right away.

Managing debt

Personal debt is one of the most common financial problems for new and graduating students. In fact, student loan debt is often one of the largest sources of debt people will pay off throughout their lives. To get a good start in life, students need to graduate with as little debt as possible. Though a few thousand dollars per semester may not seem like a lot of money, it can result in many years of payments later in life. A student who learns to live on as little as possible in college will be learning a life lesson that will help them to avoid bankruptcy in future years.

On-time payments

Making payments on time is important for two reasons: it builds good credit and helps you to avoid late charges. One of the first steps college students make toward independence is having bills to pay. Paying bills on time is one of the key factors that credit reporting agencies look at when determining credit scores. On time payments also help people to save money by avoiding needless late fees. Though it seems simple, many adults of all ages fail to make payments on time. Starting the habit of never being late is a simple skill that can have large payoffs over time.

Side hustle

From suburban moms to Wall Street executives, the side hustle is becoming an important part of daily life for many people in the U.S. The term describes the situation many people have with second jobs or small businesses that help them earn extra money in addition to their primary job. Side hustles teach many important business skills from budgeting time to market research. Whether it is working as a driver, selling merchandise online, or providing services in the local area, a side hustle is both a learning opportunity and a money-making opportunity.

The freedom of being away from home brings with it a lot of responsibility and a lot of opportunities. College should be a lot of fun, but students are primarily there to learn. Increase your odds of success in life by studying hard in class, staying out of trouble, and by learning some simple financial skills right off the bat.

Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

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