Save More, Borrow Less
The best ways for a student to start college and graduate with financial security are to begin saving for college early and to avoid any form of borrowing money. Earning financial aid and scholarships is only the beginning of what it takes to start off on the right foot financially. Students, as well as anyone who wants to achieve financial security, should avoid using loans. Rather than using loans and credit for purchases, students should save their money until they have enough to pay for purchases without loans.
At the least, students should have saved an emergency fund. This allows students to pay for immediate emergency expenses such as car repairs, cell phone repairs or replacements, and family emergencies without using credit. Students should also have a general savings for buying a car, house, or other large payments. In order to keep up with regular expenses, students should create a budget to manage how all of their income is used, including monthly bills, repairs, food, recreation, gifts, charity, and additional saving. Money earned by a student that is not spent or given to charity should be saved, but in a budget, all money should be accounted for so that no part of the income is left out.
The key to achieving financial success is having the discipline to control spending and follow a budget. By controlling the impulse to spend and saving more, anyone can be financially secure and become wealthy. Most people have more debt than savings, so they are actually unable to pay for most of what they own, but by avoiding debt, anyone can make a good first step into financial security.
Austin Fussell, Dickson County High School