While most of us look at April as the time to begin our spring cleaning, it is also Financial Literacy Awareness Month, making it a great time to sweep the cobwebs off of your financial plan. One way to save money is to budget your education expenses, which is why online degree programs have become so popular. In general, online degree programs are more affordable and flexible for a busy lifestyle. That very consideration is one reason interested students will find Touro University Worldwide’s (TUW) newest degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management (BSBA), a perfect fit despite personal and financial demands. Below are some best practices for this month’s financial spring-cleaning:
- Make a budget. This is a critical first step in learning about your finances. Before you can do anything, you must know how much you’re earning and how much you’re spending. First, tally how much you make monthly. (For those whose incomes vary monthly depending on their hours and maybe monthly incentives or bonuses, do an average of 3 months to get a ballpark figure of your monthly income.) Next, add up all of your expenses. Bills, loans, and necessities should be figured into this total. Finally, subtract your expenses from income. Also take a look at where you are saving money. For example, Touro University Worldwide does not require their students to buy textbooks. They can budget the money they would have spent on books somewhere else.
- Stick to your budget. You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but it’s not. At first, passing up that expensive restaurant, the extravagant vacation, or the collector’s item might seem difficult. But by staying on budget, you are demonstrating that self-will and self-determination to get control of your finances and your life. Consider the option of getting an online degree instead of brick and mortar. It offers greater flexibility for you to work while you go school. By enrolling with an online school like TUW, it’s a great way to stick to your budget because you are cutting out a lot of the expenses traditionally associated with universities – dorm fees, parking fees, travel, meal plans, etc. All that saving should inspire you to stick with it!
- Create and/or maintain a savings account. According to the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), nearly 31% of Americans have no savings at all which means no money for retirement or emergency expenses. Let’s say you start saving $100 per month at age 23 for 25 years. When you’re 48, there’s an extra $30,000 (plus interest) waiting for you. In addition, you could set up an appointment with a money manager and learn about IRAs, CDs, or stocks—all items that will help you put cash in your coffers. By consistently putting your money away, when you really need it, you will have a nest egg that will leave you feeling financially secure. Taking a class such as TUW’s Course: The Principles of Finance and Budgeting in its BSBA program can provide useful instruction on how to manage both personal and professional budgets.
- Pay off your debt. If there is a buzzword in the financial community that resonates with Wall Street, Main Street, and the playground, it is debt. Student loan debt has eclipsed credit card debt as the largest amount of debt Americans carry. Not all debt is bad debt. Some debt is a future investment, such as student educational loans, which can be paid back within a reasonable amount of time. Even so, it’s all about being smart choices. Be wise about how much debt you’re taking on, and an online degree can help with that. Students who can work while going to school typically have fewer loans because their debt is only going towards tuition and not towards living expenses. At Touro University Worldwide, there are administrators and advisors who can help you with this process.
- Establishing Credit. While it is dangerous to carry too much credit card debt, it is a good idea to show credit evaluation agencies that you can handle debt in order to improve your credit rating. Apply for a credit card where the creditor reports account activity to the credit bureaus. When you charge purchases, make your payments on time to clear your balance. If you want to calculate your credit to debt ratio, check out this how-to article.
Do you want to make an affordable investment in your future? To decide whether a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management (BSBA) from TUW is right for you, visit https://www.tuw.edu or call 888-586-5193 to learn how you can apply these principles to your life, get your degree, and take control of your financial health.
About Touro University Worldwide
Touro University Worldwide is a non-profit organization established by philanthropic visionaries who are committed to developing a passionate, connected learning community that can help students achieve their individual academic goals. Students at Touro University Worldwide are committed to social justice, intellectual pursuit, and professional development. This philosophy is derived from the Judaic foundation on which the University was originally founded and a value system that welcomes all cultures and backgrounds.
About the Touro College and University System
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris and Florida. Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as Touro University Worldwide and New York Medical College are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: https://www.touro.edu/media/.