Financial management practices like budgeting and saving are essential to keeping up with the high costs of a college education. However, even the most financially savvy student can run into issues that leave them in a jam.
Knowing how to handle financial emergencies is crucial, whether you’re short on funds for your tuition installment, need to purchase supplies for a class project, or need a few extra bucks to tide you over until you get paid.
Before you ask mom or dad for help, consider these suggestions below.
Dip Into Your Emergency Savings
Hopefully, you’ve been setting money aside for rainy days.
If the unforeseen circumstances are urgent and could impact your education or well-being, you can use funds from your emergency savings account to foot the bill.
Just ensure that you have a plan to replace the funds to have a cushion if you need it in the future.
Another quick way to resolve urgent matters is by using a credit card.
Keep in mind that credit cards charge interest, and the longer you take to pay it off, the more money you’ll owe. It could also affect your credit score if you fail to repay in a timely manner.
Ultimately, if you don’t have a job or the means to pay the charges off in 30-60 days, it’s best to consider other options for relief.
Applying for a bank or credit union loan isn’t always easy for college students as they have low or no credit scores and limited income.
Fortunately, you can still get the cash you need to handle an emergency by applying for a cash advance for college students. These are short-term installment loans of up to $3,000 that you can use to pay for anything.
The eligibility requirements are more flexible, and repayment options are convenient. The best part is you can use the loan to build your credit (when you make timely payments).
Make a Quick Buck
Side gigs are great solutions for college students. You can complete these one-time or ongoing tasks in your spare time for extra cash. You can use your side gig to cover the expenses when you’re in a jam.
For example, you can offer to tutor classmates, walk dogs, deliver groceries, or become a rideshare driver and get money in just a few days to handle your emergency.
Sell Something of Value
If you don’t have a job or side gig, you can still earn a few quick bucks by selling something of value. Jewelry, textbooks, furniture, cooking appliances, and old electronics are hot ticket items that could get you a few hundred dollars when you need it most.
You can sell them to a direct buyer (i.e., pawn shop, cell phone buyer, or jewelry store) or place an ad on a marketplace app and find hundreds of people ready to give you top dollar for your merchandise.
Barter With Classmates
Another way you can generate what you need in a jam is to barter with other college students. You may have something of value you could trade that would resolve your issue.
For instance, you could offer to do laundry in exchange for some ramen noodles or snacks to tide you over on groceries.
Check With Your Financial Aid Office
Believe it or not, some colleges offer emergency assistance to students in need. Whether it’s a gift aid that doesn’t need to be repaid or a short-term loan, it could resolve your problem.
Other options might include offering hardship extensions on tuition, lab fees, and other school-related costs. An extension would ultimately give you more time to resolve your emergency.
As a student, you don’t always have the means to cover your everyday expenses, let alone an emergency. While managing your money properly can help reduce the likelihood of finding yourself in a bind, sometimes it’s unavoidable. Luckily, you can turn to solutions like those listed above to help you get out of a jam.