Finally, you’re going to university! After years of studying, this is probably the last stage of education before stepping into the working adult world.
“If you want to earn a lot of money, get a degree!” I’m sure most of us hear this from our parents while growing up. You might be going to university for a variety of reasons, be it for the job you want, or simply because you believe a degree is an important piece of document for career advancement.
Undoubtedly, a college education still is an essential step in certain sectors.
However, a college education certainly is expensive. Many students graduate with huge debts which they struggle to pay while working due to lack of knowledge on how to handle their finance. Here are some financial mistakes you should avoid while getting a higher education.
1. Waiting to pay off your loans
The longer you wait, the more interest you collect on your loans. In Singapore, OCBC has a student loan with an interest rate of 4.5% per annum for private schools. To put this in numbers, if your loan is $50,000 when you graduate and you only pay it off after 10years, you would accumulate at least $22,500 extra debt.
Thus, you would want to pay off your student loan as soon as possible. Make it a priority once you get your first salary!
2. Not working while in school
While enjoying graduate school with all the new found friendships, halls and parties, you still need to balance out gaining work experience and income during the program.
You should look out for internships or part-time job that give you valuable and relevant work experience and some form of stipend. The salary for such internships might not be much but you’ll have some cash flow to pay off your loans.
This can be done by going to your faculty’s career advisor, or the career page for your school. If not, you can simply do a quick Google search. Hey, it’s the internet age right?
3. Missing out on Scholarships
There are tons of scholarships out there. Try applying for as many as you can. Applying for scholarships takes work, there’s no doubt about it, but even the smallest scholarships means that you’re saving money.
If you’re studying in Singapore, you can check out these scholarships: https://brightsparks.com.sg/searchScholarships.php
4. Not using your credit card wisely.
You’re in college! It’s time for you to learn to control your finance. You can’t expect your lifestyle to remain the same, eating junk food, partying all the time, and playing around.
You’d have to balance between a part-time job and studying. Consequently, you’d have to sacrifice some of your entertainment budget towards funding your education.
Lifestyle choices have to be modified a little in order not to find yourself with a lack of money during university or once you graduate. For example, you can cut down on that weekly shopping spree, or limit the weekly visits to the movies to once a month. Baby steps first!
You’ll find that you end up saving a lot, and these good habits will carry on to your work life as well.
Smart money choices will provide a positive building block for the years to follow. Invest in yourself well!