Students attending business school have a lot to think about while earning an education. Managing finances can be tough, especially since you don’t have a significant amount of income to rely upon and you’re still years off from earning those six figures annually. So whether you’re one of the many prospective MBA applicants eager to learn more about Maryland’s online MBA in finance or you’re already feeling the pressure of juggling your bills and your studies, here are some personal finance tips to help you make it to graduation without getting deeply mired in debt.
1. Keep an Eye on Your Credit Score
Checking your credit score is essential as you work your way through business school. Pursuing your MBA requires serious life changes, you probably applied for student loans, opened a credit card account or a new bank account, and you may have even quit your job and uprooted yourself to a new town. All of these things done in a relatively brief amount of time can leave you vulnerable to identity theft. That’s why you want to monitor your credit routinely, the last thing you want to do is finish school with a badly damaged credit history.
2. Taking on Risk
Those students who have an active portfolio of investments are going to want to readjust it on a yearly basis as your tolerance for risk changes. The older you get, the less likely you want to take on the levels of risk you may have been welcome to accept when you were in college. But now that you’re on the road to your MBA, you should tinker with the percentages in your portfolio. A good starting point is incorporating 75% equity and 25% debt, but those numbers can change based on how aggressive you wish to be in your investment allocation.
3. Effective Budgeting
We all have to do it, but budgeting your money is especially important when you’re pursuing an MBA at Tufts University. You’re a business major, this should be easy for you to accomplish. Just know your financial goals, assess your costs, track your expenses, and learn how to best allocate the money you have towards the financial obligations that must be met each month. If you have some funds left over, don’t let that money burn a hole in your pocket, start investing for your future.
4. Student Discounts
You have a student ID. Thus, you need to start using it as often as possible. Like with most things, age is just number and whether you’re 25 or 35, your student ID is valid as long as you are paying tuition at your chosen institution. We both know getting an MBA is not cheap, so you’re going to want to take full advantage of all the perks and discounts that a student ID can afford you around your campus. Movies, food, even insurance rates and travel reservations, all of these things can be had for a little less.
5. Investing in Tax-Advantaged Accounts
There are plenty of investment vehicles out there, some of which are ideally suited for MBA students. One of the better choices is a Roth IRA. You can only invest in one if you make under $127,000 a year, so chances are you meet that requirement already, and your money grows tax-free. That’s because you pay taxes on it before you deposit it into your account. Best of all, you can withdraw the principal you invested anytime you wish. You just can’t touch the gains that have been earned.