Funding your Future: Managing finances in college

Making smart financial decisions while you're attending college can help set you up for a better future once you graduate. David Sant with Cyprus Credit Union shared some financial mistakes with us you should try to avoid while attending college.

Maintaining Your Credit Score
Maintaining a credit score can be a tricky task. However, by simply controlling what you borrow and how you use your credit you can do the bulk of the work without thinking about it. If you pay back what you owe on your credit card each month, make your payments on time and don't get in over your head, you will be set up for success.

Taking Advantage of Scholarships
When it comes to financial aid, there are billions of dollars available out there. You should constantly be researching scholarship and grant opportunities both before and while you're in college. The best part is this money doesn't need to be repaid, which saves you money after you graduate. Do your research and you might be surprised at how many options are out there.

Avoiding Unnecessary Debt
While there's some debt you can't avoid in college, you can be smart about it. When using a credit card, select one that features a low-interest rate. While you may not be able to get a ton of rewards, you'll be able to start building credit.

Budgeting
The less money you have coming in, the more important it becomes to budget. This is especially true when you're a student. By knowing exactly where all of your money needs to go each month, you can maximize your spending and also learn a skill that will benefit the rest of your life.
There are plenty of free apps that make budgeting really easy. Most of the will track your spending and alert you when you have gone over budget. If you are consistently going over budget, revise your plan and make a few changes if necessary.

Taking Advantage of Student Discounts
One of the biggest benefits of being a college student is the discounts you get. Whether it's at a restaurant or an online service, chances are you can save some money by simply showing your student I.D. card. If there isn't a sign advertising student discounts, take a second and ask someone you'd be surprised where you can save money.

Learn to Cook
An easy trap to fall into while in college is eating out for the majority of your meals. Take the time to learn how to cook and you will save a lot of money. Rather than spending $10 on a single meal, spend that same $10 on some ingredients, make your meals and eat them for a few days.

Find out more by visiting cypruscu.com.

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