College is a place where people from lots of different economic backgrounds come together to learn and grow. While our relationships with money may vary, the thing we all have in common is the fact that we need money in order to move through the world. Whether you come from an affluent background or are putting yourself through college, you still need a way to pay for food, housing, tuition and other basic expenses.
If you’re lucky enough to have financial support from your parents, grandparents, friends or other sources as you navigate your college experience, you may feel like building your credit score and preparing for your financial future can wait. After all, money can be a confusing topic that feels best when it’s held at arm’s length. But even when you have someone or something else helping you along financially, it’s still extremely important to prepare for your financial future.
For someone who gets financial help from their parents, it may be easy to brush this kind of thinking aside. But you likely won’t be able to rely on them for the rest of your life. Applying for an apartment or a car loan after graduation may not go over very well if you haven’t built your credit score. Figuring out how to budget and invest even the most lucrative salary post-college is a difficult task for someone learning about it for the first time. So what should you do?
Steps You Can Take
Simply put, support from your parents can keep your head above water. But it isn’t a long-term solution to leading a financially healthy life. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t accept financial help from sources like your parents. We’re just saying that if you’re lucky enough to have financial support, there are still steps you should take to set yourself up for success.
1. Build Your Credit Score
Building your credit score is one of the most important things you can do as a college student. A better credit score will save you money on mortgages and car loans by giving you access to more approvals and lower interest rates. But that’s not all. A credit score can give you access to things you might not be able to get even with money at your disposal. Fancy credit cards, certain apartment rentals, and even some jobs are only available to those with solid credit.
One of the best ways to build your credit as a college student is with Fizz. Fizz is a debit card for college students that helps you build your credit, and you can sign up right now. You don’t need to go through a credit check, there are no hard pulls on your credit, and you can even earn rewards in the process. All you need to do is fill in some information, connect your checking account and spend like you would with your bank-issued debit card.
2. Ask Questions
We know, this isn’t the sexiest advice, but there’s nothing like getting curious, sitting down, and scratching that itch of curiosity. Even if you have financial support from your parents, you probably still have questions, right? What even is a credit score? How can I invest in things? What should I do with the money I have to spend? All of these are great questions, and you’re way ahead of the game just by asking.
Lucky for you Fizz has you covered. Our team is always hard at work developing new content that’s there to answer all of the questions you have. Whether it’s something small, like the definition of a term like credit utilization, or something big, like why paid internships are especially important during college, we’ve got the answer for you. And we’re happy you’re asking, because that’s the first step towards a better and healthier relationship with money.
3. Budget, Save, Invest
If you’re in a position where you’re getting money to support yourself during college, you’re lucky. It’s a good idea to take the opportunity to work out a budget just as you might if you were supporting yourself on your own. This won’t only help you build better financial habits - it can also help you put even more money in your pocket. The same goes for investing and saving. By working out a system for allocating your allowances, you’re setting yourself up for success in the short-term and the long run.
Of course, only some students are lucky enough to receive financial support as they go through college. And we certainly acknowledge how much of a blessing that is. But if you are indeed lucky enough to fall into this category, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t skimp on developing a healthy relationship with money. Looking at your financial support like an earned salary can be a good way of contextualizing things and can even encourage you to budget, save, and invest.
You shouldn’t forget about your credit score, either. In the past, students have often steered clear of credit cards due to their high fees and interest rates along with their stringent approval requirements. With Fizz, those problems can be a thing of the past, and you can build your credit score worry-free. With a higher score comes better loan terms, more job opportunities, and access to certain apartments, just to name a few things. And those, my friends, are things that money can’t buy.