Now that summer is drawing to a close, students all over the world are returning to the classroom. This is an exciting time of year ? and not just for the brownnoserseager to earn their first A of the semester. It?s an important one for every student concerned about their finances. The beginning of a brand new school year marks an opportunity to start fresh and form new budget-friendly habits.
If you?re ready to reassess your finances and set new goals for the upcoming school year, keep reading. Here are some tips and techniques to help you prepare your wallet for the semesters ahead.
Your first piece of homework is building a budget. A budget is an indispensable addition to your finances. It acts as your compass, helping you navigate toward achieving your financial goals. You can make it with modest materials, like a pen and paper, or you can use a money management app to help digitize this financial plan. Either way, make sure you provide accurate numbers for each category of spending. Accuracy helps you balance your budget and anticipate future expenses in the school year.
If this isn?t your first rodeo, don?t start from scratch. Old budgets are a huge help when it comes to making new ones, as they offer insights into past expenses. It might reveal harmful habits that wasted money, or it might expose specific times in the year when you spent more often.
Ellen R. Siegel, a certified financial planner, suggests using the acronym HALT to help identify the items and outside factors that cause you to overspend. Standing for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired, HALT represents unnecessary purchases you make when you?re feeling one of these negative emotions. Once you can recognize the situations that lead you to feeling HALT, you can organize your day to avoid them.
Seek out FinTech solutions
It?s not always easy removing the power HALT has on your finances. It may take a while before you?re in the habit of recognizing them and even longer before you can protect your budget against them. In the meantime, your spendthrift ways may leave your budget vulnerable to unexpected bills and back-to-school expenses.
FinTech solutions could be your backup when facing bills that test your finances. FinTech represents a growing industry that?s disrupting the typical banking experience by offering online alternatives to traditional financial products. It includes direct lenders like MoneyKey that offer online loans. As a direct lender in many of the states they lend in, they facilitate loans through their website and their app. These loans are easier and faster to secure than the usual personal loans you?d apply for at the bank. This convenience is one of the benefits of direct lenders for loans. You won?t have to take time out of your busy schedule to visit the bank during its opening hours. Instead, you can find the cash you need to cover unexpected expenses wherever you get WiFi.
Save on supplies
Sometimes these unexpected bills are back-to-school essentials. If supplies are the reason why you?re struggling, you can use the following tips to keep their impact on your finances to a minimum:
- Use shopping apps: The right app can help you track down a deal, connect you with coupons, and offer sizeable rebates on the items on your list. You might as well cash in on these offers if you have to buy them anyways.
- Don?t buy new books: Don?t be afraid to go off syllabus by buying a used textbook. The differences between editions are usually negligible. You can also find free or discounted books online by using these resources.
Take advantage of the excitement and nerves you have over the new school year and channel them into your finances. What you do now can help you better prepare for the upcoming semesters, so capitalize on this opportunity to look at your finances, fix your budget, and prepare for your biggest expenses.