Blog Series: The Keys to Financial Fitness for College Students
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Consider the Value
If you’re not sure whether or not more school is worth your time and money, the answer is usually a resounding yes. Recent college graduates who work full time made roughly $17,500 more than employed young adults with only a high school diploma, according to a Pew Research Center study, which also found that a college degree was an asset to workers of any generation.
As you get ready to go away to college for the first time, this is a good time to expand your knowledge of day-to-day money management, including smart budgeting and debt management steps. The North Carolina Association of CPAs offers these tips to students who want to get through college with the right financial footing.
Start on a Budget
You may be surprised at the high everyday costs of college, including books and supplies, daily living expenses and travel to and from school. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a sense of what you will spend—outside of tuition costs—before you begin each semester. Include savings you plan to use, any money you may receive from your family and the income you can expect from any jobs. According to a Nationwide survey, the average student income is about $1,400 a month from part-time jobs and parents. Semesters usually last about four months, so divide your projected total to determine how much you can spend each month, after deducting the amount you can expect to pay for books at the beginning of the semester. It’s also a good idea to track your actual spending throughout the semester, so that you can more accurately project and adjust your budget for the years to come.
Visit NCACPA’s student resources section on the website for more helpful tips and tools!
This content is in support of 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, a national effort of the AICPA and the state CPA societies to improve the financial understanding of Americans. For more information about the profession’s efforts, visit www.360financialliteracy.org.”
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants © 2014