As a college student, money can be tight – sometimes a little too tight for comfort. This is exactly why credit cards can be so helpful – they give you a little more financial leeway so that you can cover some of your important expenditures. For instance, you have textbooks, supplies, overhead and you still have to go to the market once and a while. All of these things can add up. However, when you have a credit card in college, you want to be careful not to overspend. Credit card spending can easily get out of hand if you aren’t completely careful. Here is how to use credit cards wisely in college.
- Make sure that your credit card has a reasonable minimum-spending limit. When you are in college, you won’t necessarily have a lot of money to spend, which means that you won’t have a lot of money to pay for your credit card bills. This is why you want to keep your credit card spending limit to a minimum – to a level that you can afford.
- Always look at your account balances to make sure you are not close to the red. It is also really important to monitor your account balance. You don’t need to do this every hour, but you may want to take a quick glance at the end of the day. Keeping an eye on your finances will help you manage your finances – it will also help you steer clear of the red.
- Use budgeting software to manage your budget and to create an appropriate weekly and monthly budget. You may also want to look for budgeting software to create a budget for yourself. If you don’t have a budget, your spending may be all over the place. Moreover, if you don’t know how much money you have and how much money you have to spend – including a list of all your expenses – it will be easy to go overboard on your credit card, which is not something you want to do when you have a credit card.
- Be sure to shop around for a credit card – you want to find a credit card that is right for you. Before you sign up for a credit card, you want to do your homework about the card and the company providing the card. You can usually visit a site like CreditCardXpo to browse and shop for different credit cards. When it comes down to it, you want a low impact card that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles.
- Only use your credit card for expenditures that matter and don’t spend just to spend. Many credit cards have rewards and bonuses that are offered in exchange for spending money on your card. However, you want to be wary of these bonuses – they could inspire you to spend more money than you have. When it comes down to it, you want to put only the most important expenditures on your card. In the end, you want to use a credit card like a tool and not like free money.