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Handling Financial Stress in the New Year

By Kelsey Lyon, OMS II

Welcome to 2016! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could freeze in time that moment at 12 AM on January 1, 2016 when we were celebrating with friends and/or family the start of a new year. Unfortunately, time must go on and with the start of a new year brings the start of a new semester and all the financial expenditures that come with it. Let start with the release of a new set of student loans to pay your Spring tuition .I don’t know about you, but for me that new set of loans brings with it a lovely email entitled “Your Student Loan Snapshot” reminding me of how much loan money and interest I have accumulated to date so far. Seeing that email makes me cringe and I ask myself “Do I really even want to open it?” “Do I want to see what that number shows now?”

Next up comes the essential costs for the spring semester: the cost of books for your spring classes, rent for your apartment/house, utility bills, groceries, laundry, etc. Let’s also not forget about those miscellaneous expenditures as well such as that trip to Chipotle or Starbucks and weekend nights out with your friends. Before you know it your bank account is low and the money has just seemed to disappear.

Here are some tips to start out the new year on the right foot and help you manage your money throughout the semester so financial stress doesn’t have to be another thing on your list of things to have to worry about.

  1. Create a budget and set a limit on how much you can spend each month based on how much money you have
  2. Separate “wants” from “needs” and only buy things that are absolutely necessary to get you through school. Save those “want” items for your Christmas and birthday lists.
  3. Use debit cards not credit cards. Using debit cards means that you can only use the money you actually have.
  4. By used textbooks or electronic versions of textbooks as these tend to be cheaper than new books.

What other ways do you save money?

 

Kelsey Lyon, OMS II
OU-HCOM
Student Wellness Coordinator
AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee

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