Tag Archives: financial preparation

How to Financially Prepare for College

In many regards, college is viewed as a rite of passage into adulthood. While various individuals maintain different opinions regarding college, its merits, and potential pitfalls, there are certain occupations where a professional degree is absolutely paramount. However, nothing in life comes without a cost.

This is especially applicable regarding college; higher education is notorious for its costliness, especially in the United States. Therefore, being financially prepared for college is critical; those who are not prepared often find themselves ensnared in debt. Student loans are not pretty; neither is the associated debt which often accompanies it. This is why the following steps will prove to be especially helpful for current (and future) college students.

Maintain Excellent Grades

In a perfect world, all parents would stash aside money for their children to attend college. However, the world is far from perfect. Therefore, being proactive and taking the proper steps to prepare for college may very well fall on the shoulders of young people; according to The Simple Dollar, maintaining great grades can open up a lot of doors. Many of those doors can lead to financial opportunities for college, such as scholarships, grants, and even the ability to forego certain classes which other students may be mandated to take due to poor marks.

Set Up A Budget

Although college may seem like the time to party, immerse oneself into new activities, and soak up such a new phase of life, students should still be sure to have a budget in place. Having a precise and detailed list of expenses (such as monthly phone bill, groceries, personal care items) can particularly come in handy. Dividing up expenses and having an exact number regarding the amount of money coming in and going out can make a great difference and help students truly assess their current financial state.

If a college student finds him or herself having an extremely tight budget, they may want to consider taking up a part time job. The job should not interfere with their studies, but provide an income stream which can reduce financial stress. Many people who attend college can sometimes work to pay off their student loans; this can truly pay off down the road.

Avoid Common Traps

Believe it or not, there are a litany of mistakes which are quite common for college students to fall into. The Balance documents some of the aforementioned mistakes as mismanaging student loan funds, choosing overly expensive colleges, and going crazy with credit cards. While each of these pitfalls have their own unique elements, the great equalizer between them is the lack of frugality.

Virtually everyone loves to spend money and have nice things, but this comes with time. In the case of college students (and others who are just starting off in life), frugality is wisdom. Racking up credit cards, damaging credit scores, and otherwise spending money that one doesn’t have are common mistakes which college students often make due to a lack of knowledge and real world experience. The foregoing traps should always be avoided.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Financially Prepare for a Job Layoff

Nobody likes the idea of being laid off from their jobs. Many people not only enjoy their work, but it also allows them to support themselves and any relatives which may also be dependent upon them. If life were perfect, everyone would keep their current positions of employment and never have to worry about layoffs. However, life is far from perfect; job layoffs occur more often than most individuals would like to imagine. This is particularly why each person has the responsibility to ensure that they are financially prepared in the event that they are laid off by their current employer.

Build A Plentiful Savings Account

One of the surest ways to prepare for a job layoff is having a plentiful amount of funds stashed aside. Saving money is always valuable and important; however, its value and paramountcy increase when an income stream evaporates. More often than not, saving sizable amounts of funds takes time. This is often a process which occurs gradually. Working people generally put aside either a specific amount of percentage of their earnings each time they are paid. Forbes moreover recommends having at least three to six months of living expenses saved up in the event of a job layoff. This greatly reduces stress and other headaches which are often brought about due to a lack of funds.

Take Advantage of (Potential) Remaining Job Benefits

Depending on the nature of one’s job, there may be certain associated benefits, such as healthcare, insurance, etc. In certain cases, employees who are laid off may be granted the option to take advantage of their benefits prior to the layout. If the individual at hand is unsure of where they stand regarding their job benefits, he or she should set up an appointment with their employer to get all the answers.

Knowledge is power. Having all of one’s ducks in a row is critical, especially when a job layoff is just around the corner.

Spend Less Money

Although this particular step may appear unnecessary coupled with the existence of plentiful savings, in actuality, it is very important. Spending less money increases the longevity of even the healthiest savings account. Decreasing levels of spending can be challenging, particularly if someone has grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle with various amenities. However, a job layoff is a very serious matter and all energies should be directed towards finding a new source of income to replace the one which is now gone.

A Final Word

Keeping the faith and staying positive are also some important tips when faced when the existence or possibility of a job layoff. The world of work is changing with each passing day; countless people are turning to the gig economy and freelance market as a means of supporting themselves.

In many cases, having multiple sources of income can also counteract the financial impacts of a job layoff. Many people rent spare rooms on Airbnb, drive for Lyft or Uber in their spare time, or even make fruitful investments which are likely to pay off in the future.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal