3 years ago
Tuition fees in U.S. universities are VERY expensive. Students have to pay an average yearly fee of $24,610 to study at an in-state public college. It’s twice as much for a private college! Experts claim the problem lies in overdraft and late payment fees. According to NerdWallet, an average student’s charges amplify by another $1,016 over 4 years of school.
Unbelievable as it seems, U.S. college students spend over $795 million a year to cover the overdraft expenses and late payment fees! Typical Student suggests a bunch of measures to prevent unnecessary spending.
1. DON’T GO FOR OVERDRAFT “PROTECTION”
Overdraft protection is a guarantee for your purchase payment to get through even if you don’t have enough money. However, this doesn’t prevent you from paying the overdraft fees ($35 on average). Mind that some financial institutions reorder the transactions from highest to lowest amount. This is why, if you do overdraw, you may end up paying more than one fee. The easiest solution is to opt out of overdraft protection and ensure you have enough funds in your checking account to make a monthly payment by the credit card bill.
2. TURN ON ALERTS AND AUTO-PAY
Low balance, transactions above X amount, purchases made by phone/online and reminders about payment due dates - all of these are necessary. This will keep you up-to-date in terms of your spending.
Do the same for other regularly paid bills (health club, car insurance, etc.) Set the minimum amount you’re sure to cover for the credit cards to be able to adjust the amount you owe once the bills arrive.
This will help you follow the time of payments and amount of funds on your credit card. Thinking about your long-term financial goals and obligations might help you avoid excessive spending. Typically, students don’t have a steady income while at school, so it’s best to avoid the pile of unpaid interest down the road.
3. NO BANKING BREAK FOR STUDENTS
Try keeping the overall costs to a minimum when choosing among the banking options. Very often students are lured into opening “student checking accounts or student credit cards” being not the best options in terms of expenses. Taking the first account without checking what the fees are might end up in unpleasant surprise in the form of hidden fees and commissions.
Don’t neglect online banking options! The fees offered when setting up an online checking account are typically much less. Learn more about free online checking accounts to avert paying bank commissions.Consulting a financial expert and comparing the fees offered by several banks can help you select the best options. Also, watch out for the ATM fees - getting cash from the ATM might cost up to $3 a time.
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