Financial tips for going back to college

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Many college students are heading back to class this week.

Affording higher education is a challenge for many but there are ways to cut daily costs.

Mayor Linda Gorton said law enforcement partners tell her this type of crime is becoming all...
Mayor Linda Gorton said law enforcement partners tell her this type of crime is becoming all too common.(MGN)

Saving for education after high school can be overwhelming.

The Finance Authority of Maine has pulled together some tips to help you save.

Every dollar matters, so they say its important to pay yourself first.

By putting money into your own savings or investment accounts before you do any other spending, you’re making long-term financial well-being a priority.

FAME also recommends using their student loan/salary calculator.

“It’s a good time to just double check, what do you think you’re going to make when you graduate and if you put that into our calculator it’ll tell you the maximum amount of student loan debt that can be supported by that income. Then you can go the other way, you can say, I think I’m going to graduate with this much debt, and will calculate the salary that you need to support that debt,” said Martha Johnston, FAME director of education.

If you’ve been working all summer, you’ve probably got some cash saved up.

Here’s some tips to make sure you don’t spend it all in the first month of school.

  1. Set a monthly budget and stick to it.
  2. Set aside the money not being used that month in an account that can’t easily be accessed so you’re not tempted to spend from it.
  3. Use your meal plan instead of ordering takeout. It’s also a good idea to get an on-campus job to bolster your budget.
  4. FAME says you should reduce some of your everyday spending.

“We highly recommend examining what we call ‘looking found money.’ How many times a week are you going to get that coffee? Could you make it in your dorm room instead? I think if you just track your spending for 30 days, any of us, whether you were a college student or not, you would find that you have a lot of spending weeks and that there really are some wonderful opportunities to kind of cut back without feeling like you’re sacrificing, but you’re just making really smart informed choices that will help you meet your goals,” Johnston said.

For more tips on how to save you head can head to famemaine.com.