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Financial Management Mistakes College Students Often Commit

Posted on May 28, 2013 with No comments

May 28, 2013

While furthering your education is certainly important, there are a number of pitfalls to look out for as well. This is especially true in the financial field as the excitement to start college and inexperience with money can lead to some very costly mistakes. So that you can avoid these errors in the future, we will look at some of the more common occurrences in which students misuse their money and end up in trouble.

Credit Card Debt


Since almost everyone has a credit card these days, it’s not unusual to think of it as a never-ending supply of cash. This is where a lot of students trip up as they use their credit cards too frequently, building up a balance that is very difficult to pay back in the end. Just like instant loans, credit cards are useful but only if taken out in the right circumstances. A student who pays for nights out, movie tickets, clothes and other luxuries with credit on a regular basis is on the way to owing a lot of money and ruining their credit history.

Failure to Budget


At this early stage of life, creating a monetary budget isn’t something that’s deemed to be very important. On the contrary though, since students generally have very little money available, they’ll need to carefully allocate their funds to cover everything in the right manner. If you’re living out of home and paying rent, this is especially crucial otherwise you might find yourself evicted. Luckily you can find plenty of options for affordable loans in the UK if you accidentally blow open your budget and spend too much. Even with this backup plan, keeping control of your cash is a smart move as a student.

Misusing Student Loans


If you’ve taken out a student loan, you should always remember what the extra money is for. Textbooks, tuition fees, stationery and other essential college equipment is what you should be spending this borrowed cash on. If you use some of it to go travelling or host a student party, you’ll have to figure out where to find the cash for more crucial education requirements. While you can borrow money again, you’ll have to pay back both of these loans in the future. This is an option that is only feasible if you can afford to pay back multiple debts at the same time.

Opting for Costly Degrees


The final mistake in this list is probably the biggest. Some students enroll in an expensive college simply because they think having the right name on the degree will help them once they graduate. While this is true for select colleges around the world, in some cases it makes little difference at all. Thus, you’ll end up paying a lot more for a university degree that won’t give you the added advantage you first thought it would. Stay smart when choosing your college. Do your research and see whether the name actually makes you employable before you agree to pay their expensive tuition fees.
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Four Ways to Raise Cash for Your Next Night Out

Posted on May 23, 2013 with No comments

May 23, 2013

Whether it is nearing the end of the month, you've just splashed your wages on an expensive holiday, or you simply have been out of work recently, there are a number of reasons you might be digging around in the lint at the bottom of your pockets to find a bit of extra cash to spend this weekend. However there are many ways to raise a little bit of extra money when you are skint.

One of the best ways of raising is saving


It may sound simple, but if you are really desperate to go out this weekend, there are a number of things you can do during the week to leave you with a bit of extra dough jangling around. Simply making your own lunch rather than buying it out during work can save up to twenty pounds. Alternatively, cycling or walking to work rather than using public transport can pull back an extra ten or fifteen quid. Avoid going to the pub during the week or don't drink a lot as this can be one of the largest money burners.

Find some extra work


Short term work is an easy way of gaining some fast cash, as long as you are adept and proactive at finding it. For example, doing some handy work in your local area or finding a couple of shifts at your local pub will raise you plenty of money for a big night out. Plus, if you find some evening work, this will also save you money because you will not be tempted to go out during the week.

Sell some of your unwanted stuff


Even if you are not strapped for cash this is often a good idea. Selling off your unwanted stuff is an easy way to make extra money and reduces the baggage and clutter of your day to day life. Although you may feel sentimental about selling some of your old stuff, you will not miss it once it has gone. Electronic goods, old CDs, DVDs, games, clothes and jewelry can still fetch worthwhile prices on-line. You can even sell stuff for cash on-line so that the money is in your bank ready for your next big night out.

Borrow some cash


If you know you are going to get some money coming in soon, you may want to ask a reliable friend or family member if you can borrow some cash and pay them back soon after. Do not be tempted by any payday loans or overspending on a credit card. Although this may save your pride about asking to borrow cash from friends or family, it is not worth getting onto this slippery slope of debt with incredibly high interest rates for the sake of a night out.

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Work While Study - Good Alternative for Student Loans?

Posted on May 21, 2013 with No comments

May 21, 2013

When going on to further education most people simply take out a student loan without really considering whether this is the best option. However, students can also work while they study and pay off their fees with the money they earn, rather than getting themselves into debt unnecessarily.


There are many benefits to working while you study instead of getting a student loan, particularly if you are interested in working in the world of finance. Below is a short guide to some of the reasons why working might be a good alternative to student loans.

"Working while you study can save you a massive stress issue with debt "

Gain Experience


If you decide to earn money by working while you study, then why not look for a job or internship in the area in which you want to work, rather than just a casual job that is unrelated to your chosen subject.


One of the best benefits of working while you study is that you will be able to gain experience in the area in which you want to work. In the financial world particularly, the skills that you can learn interning, or having a low down job in accounting or other financial areas, can really help set you up for the future.


The first-hand experience will also give you an idea of what the job is really like, which is great because it will help you clearly define what exactly it is that you want to do when you finish your course.


"Working while you study can gain you valuable experience" 


Make Connections


Working while you study won’t only mean that you can earn the money to pay for your fees and gain experience, but it will also help you make connections for the future. The connections you make while you’re studying might just lead to a job when you graduate, which means you won’t have to waste time job hunting when you’re done.


If you have a part time job that complements your studies you will be able to network with employers and staff members in your place of work. If you show a good reliability and work ethic while you are studying part time, you are more likely to be offered a permanent job later on.


In the financial world, having an internship or part time job near the bottom of the ladder is the best way to get in and meet people who will be able to boost your job role and maybe even offer you something more later on.

No Debts


Finally, one of the greatest benefits of working while you study is that you will graduate your studies with no debts. Going into business in the financial world, this is very important as it shows that you can manage your own money very well, meaning people are more likely to trust you with theirs.


This also means you are freer to gain more work experience or take part in another internship that may be unpaid, because you are not pressured by the fact that you have loans out that will need repaying. These internships, although unpaid, could potentially lead to great jobs in the financial business and look great as experience on your CV.

Conclusion


If you are looking to go into accounting or anything else in the finance world then working while you study as opposed to getting student loans might be a good choice for you. It will help you gain experience and knowledge in the field, network and make connections and keep you debt free. Most people who have worked during their studies find that they are offered a more permanent role when they have graduated.



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Going It Alone: Why More & More People Are Choosing Part-Time Work

Posted on May 19, 2013 with No comments

May 19, 2013

The world is full of diversity; that’s what makes life so interesting. Some of us get to make choices and that includes deciding what hours or time of the week we want to work. Indeed, take that further and you will see many people now deciding to work part-time rather than full-time.

Yes, it’s true, some people don’t have a choice because they were forced into cutting back their hours by their employers, but more often than not those who are working part-time are doing so because they choose to.

Recent figures in the UK reveal that although there are around 2.5 million people unemployed, those in work has actually hit an all-time high of 29.73 million. However, that figure is made up of the many who work part-time.

And while it’s true that a lot of part-time work is poorly paid, there are other avenues to explore where the pay can be high.

Here are three examples:


Freelancing


This is one area where work is flowing extremely well, especially online. There are now literally thousands of opportunities for the self-employed on the Internet for anyone who knows how to use a computer. You can even work from home which is an added bonus for many.

Online freelancing jobs include copywriting, typing, graphic design, data entry, secretarial, article writing, web design, programming. In fact the list is massive.

Agency Workers


Also on the rise agency work secured via recruitment specialists offers flexible work to fit around you and your availability. This can be an excellent source of employment especially if you can work certain hours.

Work ranges from Peterborough admin jobs right through to marketing managers in Bristol and nursing jobs in Glasgow and primary school teachers in Sheffield. So whatever your field, there’s a good chance there’s a part-time job going to suit you.

Ebay Seller


For those who have a bit more get-up-and-go about them, becoming an Ebay seller might be of interest. It’s a fact that people are carving out a fine living for themselves by wheeling and dealing on the Internet via Ebay and other markets, and there are various methods to so this. It does take a bit of time to get off the ground mind you, but if you have the time and energy to invest in becoming a trader then this is a proven way to make part-time money.




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Top 3 Useful Financial Tips for College Students

Posted on May 17, 2013 with No comments

May 17, 2013

On a very sympathetic note, I must admit that student life is the time when we face the worst financial crisis in our lives. And this crisis reaches its climax when we step into our college shoes.

School life was not that financially demanding, but in college you all of a sudden get confronted with hell lot of expenses that was out of your imagination! Yes, yes, I can understand… after all this is the story of every college-going teenage no matter which time and era they have lived in.

But don’t worry, the internet has it all. Well, nowadays the internet strangely appears to be the ultimate savior for all the students in the world in terms of studies. So why not taking any useful tips on how to make a good financial plan for college students? Here are some right from the heart of the savior-

1. Detect your expenses and work on it


It is a fact that students especially almost all the young people are very bad in dealing with money. Stepping into college is that time when students actually start earning money by doing some kind of part time job or the other. But, only earning money is not all, you need to understand the value of it and know how to manage your finances. It is not only important for the reason that you are in college you need to support your daily expenses, but it is also important because after your graduation you will get into your job life or go for further studies, and that time it will be really helpful for you.

Know what your expenses are and try to maintain daily records of that. Cut off the extra and unnecessary costs and save money for your future use.

2. Try to balance your potential earning and likely expenses


Spending more than you earn or more than what you get as pocket money is the first thing that you have to give up. Try to maintain a balance between these two. If you spend more than what your budget is you eventually end up having debts to your friends or family. This is always a very negative thing because having debt will demand a lot of money from you in order to fulfill that. So be on the safe side and don’t be a wastrel. You can always find those of your friends who succeed in saving money from their monthly budget and victoriously buying those things that you also wanted to buy, but couldn’t because you have already spent all your money on something useless.

3. Keep pace with your credit


Whatever you do please don’t fall prey of credit card debt. Now that is a serious financial crisis that you can meet head-on with. Try to build up your credit card scores and thoroughly check your credit report every month. Use your credit cards to build credit, this will be really helpful in the long run when you will apply for a student loan or rental agreements.

Apart from these three most important factors there are other ways too, by which you can make your strong college finance niche. Those are-

  • Use prepaid phone cards instead of the postpaid 
  • Find out alternative sources for funding 
  • Plan to enter in the workforce quickly 
  • Know different bank policies and terminology 
  • Take professional advice or expert advice from your elders 
  • Take advance initiatives and plan for auto repair 
  • That’s it! Follow these simple steps and be the coolest dude in college by being a finance management guru to your friends. 

Author Bio:

Lionel Smith is a financial consultant for major teleservices company. He keeps wide range of information on the government rules that comes out against the debts, mortgage, insurance. He shares them through his article to let readers know about the present economic environment and thus plan their budget accordingly.


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5 Reasons to Open a Credit Card After Graduation

Posted on May 7, 2013 with No comments

May 7, 2013


Over the next few weeks, thousands of students across the nation will graduate from college. It's an exciting time to be a senior in college, and also a scary one.

Let's face it – stepping into the real world can be a frightening thing. There's that whole job search thing, the stress of moving out of your college apartment, and the strong chance that you're pretty cash-strapped. Congrats, class of 2013!

With all that on your plate, odds are applying for a new credit card is a pretty low priority. But believe it or not, there might be no better financial move you could make in the weeks after college ends and real life begins.

Here are five reasons you should open a credit card after graduation:

1.)    “No credit” isn't “good credit”

Anyone that's ever waited too long to open their first credit card knows that once you hit your mid-20's, those credit card offers stop showing up in your mailbox and approval for a decent card becomes pretty challenging.

Why? Because “no credit” doesn't mean “good credit”. If you hold off on establishing credit after college, it's going to be much harder to open up a credit card in your late-20's and early-30's, which is precisely when you'll need established credit the most (think auto loans, mortgage approval, etc.).

Don't ignore credit until it's too late.

2.)    You're more likely to get approved now that you're 21 or over

Most college seniors are at least 21 years of age, which means it's easier for them to get approved for a credit card. This is because the Credit CARD Act of 2009 makes it challenging for consumers under 21 to get approved for a card without providing a co-signer or proving they have sufficient income to pay a credit card bill each month.

After you turn 21, those restrictions let up considerably and it becomes much easier to get approved for a card if you have a decent credit score. And if you don't, you could apply for a secured credit card and pay a small, fully-refundable deposit to get the ball rolling on building your credit. It's a bit of a sacrifice at first, put you could end up paying a lot less in interest rates in the long run if you kick-start your credit profile today.

3.)    A lot of credit cards are free

The misconception a lot of post-grads have with credit cards is that they cost money to carry. Fortunately, this isn't the case. Many credit cards do not require annual fees, which essentially makes them freecredit cards so long as you're paying off your bill each month to avoid interest.

If you're worried about the cost of a credit card, choose a card without an annual fee, keep your spending in check and pay your bill in full each month. It's really that simple.

4.)    Your second or third credit card is often better than your first

If you already have a credit card, but you've realized it's not the sweet deal you first thought it was when you applied, you'll be happy to know that your second or third card is often a lot better than your first assuming you've kept it in good standing.

This is because creditors have more trust in your profile now, and are more willing to issue you credit. And if you're score is good-to-excellent, they'll want to earn your business by extending the best possible credit card offers to you. So now you're eligible to receive the cash back, miles or points you've seen advertised by the biggest credit card issuers.

That said, there's no need to ditch your old credit card in favor of your new one. Keep your old card open, use it sparingly and pay it back in full each month to continue building your credit history.

5.)    Emergencies

Last but not least, it's important to carry a credit card in case of emergencies, financial and otherwise.

It's not a good idea to live off your credit cards, but it is a good idea to carry one in case something comes up that you hadn't planned for. Just make sure to keep your debt low, make on-time payments each and every month, and be choose-y about what a real emergency actually is (and no, a clearance sale isn't one of them).

The real world can be a scary place, but credit cards – when used responsibly – don't have be so terrifying.


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Don’t Let Your Student Loan Sabotage Your Credit Score

Posted on May 1, 2013 with No comments

May 1, 2013

For many, the process of applying for, securing, and then paying off a student loan is their first step into the world of money management. How you handle your student loan could sabotage you financially for a long time after graduation if you are not careful. When you first apply for credit, your credit history begins. It will be consulted throughout your lifetime in calculating your credit score. A high credit score will see you able to secure a loan or mortgage with little difficulty, and at prime rates. A low credit score however could see you having a difficult financial time in the future, unable to secure a loan, mortgage, or even a credit card.

One of the greatest negative effects on an individual’s credit score is a failure to pay bills on time, or defaulting on loan or credit card payments. Your bill payment history makes up a massive 35% of your credit score. If you continually make late payments on your student loan or miss them completely, it can seriously affect your credit rating. As you miss payments the amount you owe will increase due to accumulated interest. The amount you owe at any time makes up another 30% of your credit score. As you can see, you can control 65% of your credit score simply by paying bills and making loan payments on time.

How your credit history unfolds is completely in your hands. You can shape your credit history and build a healthy credit rating by being financially responsible. It might be difficult, and you may have to make huge sacrifices, but doing so could save you from serious trouble or financial strain in the future. If you are struggling to make regular payments on your student loan, the sooner you take action to correct that the better.

What to Do if You are Struggling to Pay Your Student Loan


If you are having problems making your student loan payments there are several steps you can take to prevent it sabotaging your credit score. The first thing you should do is contact your loan provider as soon as possible and alert them to the situation. You may be able to arrange a new payment plan that is easier to meet on a monthly basis by extending the repayment period. You may also qualify for forbearance, deferment, or loan consolidation. Deferment and forbearance allow you to postpone or reduce your payments in order to help you avoid defaulting.

During a deferment you are excused from making payments on the principal or interest for a set period, and in some cases, depending on the type of loan you have, the government will even pay the interest (Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, or Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan). If you have unsubsidized loans you will have to pay the interest, but not until the deferment period is over. Keep in mind however, that interest will continue to accrue during the deferment period. Ask your loan provider or organization that handles your loan if you qualify.

A forbearance may be granted to you if you can’t make your payments but don’t qualify for a deferment. A forbearance will give you relief from monthly payments for up to one year, but interest will continue to accrue on both subsidizes and unsubsidized loans. There are two types of forbearance, mandatory and discretionary. A discretionary forbearance may be granted on the discretion of your lender due to illness or financial hardship. Your lender must grant you a mandatory forbearance if you qualify.

Taking action now to avoid defaulting on your student loan can save you from financial hardship and future disappointments. Working with your lender to avoid defaulting on your student loans bow will ensure that you can borrow money in the future when you’re ready to buy a house or car. Educate yourself further about deferments, loan consolidation, and forbearance so that your student loan doesn’t sabotage your credit score.


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