Being a college student and saving money sound like they’re mutually exclusive. (If you’re not sure what that means, you need to pay more attention in Statistics.) The biggest problem with being a college student, of course, is that you need to pay for school, but you’re not yet in a job paying enough to help you pay for school. With the right money management moves, though, you’ll soon be on your way to an A in Financial Management, even if it’s not on your transcript.
The most important step to college financial management is to make a budget and stick to it. Figure out how much you usually spend on food, transportation, and other necessities. Record that amount, and try to keep each month’s spending below it. Try to find ways to cut spending on items you don’t need, like coffee from cafes and new clothes.
Scholarships and Grants
One easy way to get more money for your college education is to apply for scholarships and grants. Many community organizations, businesses, foundations, etc offer these based on GPA, program of study, or membership in a group or organization. These are a great way to lower your cost of education because you don’t have to pay them back, and maybe you can even meet someone cute while doing the required volunteer work. Check available opportunities you may qualify for at websites like Find Scholarships for College for FREE | Fastweb.
Another way to financial success in college is to bring in more money. Consider picking up a part-time job to cover some expenses. There are typically tons of job opportunities on campus, like tutoring, working in the dining hall, and working in any on-campus shops. Often, there are also businesses near the college that will be happy to hire a hardworking college student like yourself as part-time help. It could even turn into an internship or work-study opportunity. Working will help you manage time, meet new people, and gain work experience to put on your resume. Don’t neglect your studies, though, because the money you’ll make working is likely not enough to cover the cost of having to retake a class.
Live at Home
You can also manage your finances in college by cutting housing costs. That is, if there is a college near your hometown offering your desired program, consider going there rather than moving across the country. You can often save on tuition if you’re already a resident of the state you attend school in, and if you live at home instead of dorming, it will save you money on a meal plan as well. Your parents may not get an empty nest as soon as they’d hoped, but make sure you’re contributing, and it can be a (mostly) positive experience for all involved.
Financing a college education seems stressful, but with the right decisions you’ll find it easier than expected. Making a budget, bringing in more money, and finding ways to cut costs are essential. If you follow these tips well, you’ll soon have enough to invest.