One of the questions that I get asked a lot is whether or not university students should have credit cards while they are still in school. This is assuming that university students are strapped with a low income, which I disagree with. I think that if you have sufficient income and training about personal finance, you can handle a credit card. I really want to avoid demonizing financial products as much as possible.
For example, a lot of people say that one day pay day loans are evil, but I strongly disagree. When you’ve been rejected by every other source, you will find that payday loans step up to the plate to get you where you need to be. When I was badly in debt I couldn’t run home and ask family, and I certainly didn’t have any friends that were doing better than me. That means that I really had to figure things out on my own, and that wasn’t always easy. It took a lot of hard work for me to figure out what I wanted to do, what I didn’t want to do, and how to connect everything together.
The best thing that you can do for yourself as a university student is try to build in passive income that lets you do what you want. We live in an exciting time where just about anyone can make extra money if they put their mind to it. Are you an entrepreneur in the making? You’ll find that you actually have a lot of power to create the world that you really want, versus the world that you really don’t want. It’s just a matter of making sure that you can focus on the things that ultimately and truly matter.
Is a credit card necessary to get through university life? Not at all. You will find that if you focus on actually doing more than just floating through class, the world opens for you. Spending is not the only thing that you can do in college. It’s quite possible to have a fulfilling time at university without breaking out the credit cards.
Remember that you really don’t have to compete with anyone at school. This is something that can get you in a lot of trouble when you really think about it. You have to make sure that you focus on the bigger picture — your goals over everyone else’s. Generally speaking, the people that really think less of you just because you’re not a big spender are usually not even worth speaking to at all. Don’t give them the time of day and they won’t bother you for very long — they’ll go harass someone else.
It’s not always easy to uphold strong financial principles when you’re watching people spend money but think about where you want to be in 10 years. If I had thought this way, I wouldn’t have had to fight so hard to get out of debt!
Take care of yourselves! ~Ellie