Securing Your Student Finances in the Midst of Recession

The economic recession has brought about financial difficulties in many areas of life, from rising oil and food prices to decreased job opportunities and income levels.  With all of this talk about oil, food, and business, some people seem to overlook the impact that the crisis is having on college students.  Seeing that the problem in national debt is going to be eased by the young adults who are currently in college, it’s important to help these students realize the problem and find ways to stay out of financial troubles so they can concentrate more on obtaining good grades, good jobs, and better futures. This article serves as a guide on how to keep afloat as a college student during these times of recession.

Understand the problem

As mentioned above, the recession has a number of affects that directly impact students’ lives and the lives of their parents.  Be it job loss, income cutbacks, or soaring prices, students are dealing with almost the same problems that the rest of the country is dealing with.  Aside from these more obvious effects, however, the recession has also caused some less-expected problems.  Credit card debts, student loan debts, and other debts have a tendency to build up on students, because of the rising prices of tuition and daily living.

As for college students, dealing with the recession does not only entail financial difficulties, but it is also taking a toll on their academics and their emotional state.  These economic changes cause students to focus more on finding jobs and looking for ways to pay off debt rather than focusing on their studies.  In turn, some students find that their grades start to slip, which will eventually make it hard for them to find jobs after they graduate, if they graduate at all.  The difficulty of finding a job after graduation makes it even harder to pay off debts that they incurred during and after their student life.  It is a chain of events that seems to perpetuate debt and a feeling of hopelessness among the younger generations.

Tips for students trying to stay afloat in a sinking economy

*  Get a good student loan.

The first step to dealing with economic problems as a student is to secure yourself the means for obtaining a good education.  It may seem like a bad idea to get a loan during the recession, but you have to take into consideration the value of financing and finishing your education.

*  Find an inexpensive place to live.  

One of the biggest expenses of student life (aside from tuition) is boarding.  Try to find cheaper places to live, whether that means moving into your parents’ basement or moving into a cheap apartment with some buddies.

*  Make a savings plan and stick to it.

Make sure that you have a plan for building up your savings.  Allocate part of your income to a savings account, place unused funds from your student loan into a high-interest account, or deposit small amounts of money ($5, $10, $20) on a regular basis.

*  Balance your work and academic life.

Easier said than done, but it is important to balance your work and academic life.  Any imbalance can cause your grades to slip or your source of income to vanish.

*  Seek help.

Finally, get help from those around you–family members, co-workers, or colleagues at school.  Also remember that many schools have finance departments that can offer sound advice on dealing with student life in the midst of the recession.  You aren’t alone, so don’t try to deal with financial hardships all by yourself.