Financial planning, start yesterday

Financial Planning can be a headache, whether your personal finances or figuring out how you are going to pay for your education which oftentimes includes your textbooks, tuition bills, housing and grocery.

The importance of financial planning cannot be stressed enough, as the sooner you start saving, the better. Understanding from a young age that saving is important is a very valuable lesson to learn. We as students growing up in the early 2000s were mostly taught that college was the only way to be successful in life. However, the cost of living and the cost of education has gone up tremendously.

Filing for FAFSA is just one of the many ways we as students are able to educate ourselves about our financial options. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the easiest forms of aid. This form is the largest student financial assistance in the country. They frequently deal with grants, loans and are compatible with almost every university in the United States. We as students should take advantage of these opportunities as well as apply for every scholarship under the sun. It would be silly not to. Scholarship month at Minnesota State University, Mankato is in February. Faculty or our advisors can aid us in finding all the opportunities best fit for us to apply.

Utilizing your resources is a huge factor most students ignore. As a college student it can be easy to eat out everyday or buy dinner on campus, however, The Maverick Pantry is an on campus place available for all students. The more students use their service the more the school can fund it as shown in the new Maverick Garden where 100% of the produce go toward the pantry.

Speaking of using your resources, another big money saver is to take the max credits each semester. Whether you take 12 or 18 credits, the price is the same. This way you may even end up graduating a semester or year early.

Students can also consider renting books instead of purchasing them. If renting options are unavailable, students may be able to sell their books back to the school at the end of semester to earn back some cash for their next semester. 

Overall, going to get an education is expensive. So get the most bang for your buck and educate yourself on how to plan accordingly.

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