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Money Management Tips For Students With Credit Cards
Keeping control of your money is one of the hardest lessons we have to learn as new college and university students. For many of us it is our first time away from home, and the first time we have to be truly responsible for all the financial affairs in our lives. Some get a handle on money matters faster than others. That's just the way she goes. But if you're not really all that sure where your money is going each month, here are a few things you may want to consider.
I. Avoid Temptations
If you have a particular weakness, and we all do, just stay away from it. If you love shopping, stay out of the malls. If you're a tech-head, stick to once a year upgrades. Nobody says avoiding temptation is going to be easy. However, it is a must if you want to save money. When you want to give into your temptation, this is the time to use your "allowance". Your allowance can be a set amount for 'special' items, or just a big jar where you put your loose change at the end of every day.
II. Credit Cards
If you have a credit card, use it only for emergency. Although they are really handy, credit cards are dangerous and possibly very damaging to your financial future. Credit cards (and in particular student credit cards) have very high interest rates. If you are only able or willing to make the minimum monthly payments then you will very quickly end up with a HUGE amount of debt because of the interest. The really bad thing is that you will also have to pay interest on the interest you owe. So, credit cards are good in a pinch, but should never be used as an extension of your cash.
III. Credit Card Interest
If you have credit cards and your credit is in good standing, you should take the time to call your credit card company, and ask for your interest rate to be lowered. It is just as simple as that. Most people have no idea they can even do this so they never make the call. Just ask the rep for a better rate on your credit card and they will take care of it for you.
IV. Financial Consulting
Many financial companies, community colleges and even churches offer classes on how to manage money. In some cases the courses are free, but often they cost around $35 to attend: it is money well spent. Another choice you have is consumer-counseling services. This is a great if you are getting into debt trouble. The counselors will work with your creditors to lower your balances, interest rates, and establish workable payment schedule that you can manage.
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