In our past post we began the discussion about how a young student’s college years can be the basis of either a healthy financial setup or a troublesome one. For many who are in college, it is the first time that they have been living on their own and becoming fully aware of what life can cost.
The “fully aware” idea is important. As the last post emphasizes, understanding a credit score and what yours might be is a basic must for a financially savvy individual. Financial awareness goes further than that:
A budget is your buddy
When you were living under your family’s roof, you might not have needed to care as much about what life costs. Now that you are in school, living independently and buying your own food, for example, hopefully you are getting the idea that, well, life can be expensive.
Life should cost what you can afford, so find out what you can afford and design your current life around that. A college-student’s budget is often based on the loan money he or she is given and any (likely limited) income he or she earns. Learning early on to live on a budget can prevent living above one’s means and the potential pitfalls that come from that behavior.
Unreliable roommate is not your financial buddy
If you have the choice of a roommate, it is natural that you would choose a friend or someone whom you think is fun to hang out with. In order to protect your money and even your credit, however, you should know more about someone than that you like their sense of humor and choice in movies.
Ask yourself — and the roommate — if he or she has a regular source of income and if they are reliable regarding paying their rent. If you sign a lease with another person, you could become liable to pay for any portion of the rent that your roomie might be unable to pay. If rent goes unpaid, your credit score will be damaged, and that damage can stick with you.
There are many reasons why a person can become financially stressed. Maybe a terrible, unreliable roommate is one reason. Maybe someone has a medical emergency that requires them to rely heavily on credit and become overburdened by debt. In many circumstances, someone who feels paralyzed by debt and is harassed by creditors can seek legal remedy. A bankruptcy attorney might be able to work out a plan that could provide you some relief.