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Midterm Study Guide: Personal Finance

March 9, 2017 by Space Coast Credit Union

Some of the most important lessons learned in college aren’t taught in a classroom. They won’t have papers or quizzes attached to them, but the tests will come every day for the rest of your life. Your ability to master the pressures of the adult world and the financial responsibilities that come with it will determine, in large part, how well you live.
With midterm exams either already here or on the way, now is a great time to think about studying and reinforcing some of those lessons you may have already had the “pleasure” of learning. So, take a quick break from your cram sessions and brush up on these personal finance strategies…

Saving Important Documents

 Many young people graduate from college without knowing how much they owe. Of course, they get statements every semester informing them of their loan amount, interest rate and other important information – but it probably gets put where every other important college-related document gets stashed, which means it’s probably getting lost in a dorm room or backpack.
Get in the habit of managing important documents and develop a system to keep track of them. Not only will it help you stay afloat in college, it’ll also be a useful practice for your tax documents, apartment leases and so on. Developing an organizational system to keep track of vital paperwork will help you keep on top of nearly every aspect of your adult life.

Valuing your Health

Some medical emergencies can’t be avoided. No matter how careful you are, you’re going to get the flu at some point in your life. However, there are a number of strategies you can follow to make your health a priority. Eating a well-balanced diet (that means things other than instant noodles and pizza), exercising and practicing personal hygiene can all help cut down on class time and work hours missed due to illness.

Managing Debt & Saving Money

Debt is a fact of life for many college students. Beyond tuition, many students use student loans to pay for basic living expenses. The problem is this money usually comes in the form of one giant refund check at the beginning of the semester. When that check finally does come, it’s easy to see it in terms of electronics, concert tickets and other “luxury” expenses. You don’t want to have to finance your life on expensive credit cards when that money eventually does run out, compounding an already-serious debt situation.
The solution? You need a budget! That means holding off on major purchases until you get an actual windfall, like a paycheck bonus or a birthday present. If there’s money left over at the end of the semester, use it to start paying down those loans instead of buying fancy gadgets. This will make the end-of-college debt load a little more manageable.

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