12 pieces of advice every college student should know
#1 - Watch out for Scholarship Scams
Keep in mind that all real scholarships do not charge fees, and that info for applying is available for everyone. There are some real tricky groups out there that could offer you a scam; keep an eye out for these.
#2 - Use student loans as a last resort
While student loans seem like a good thing at first, people can spend decades paying them off. To graduate with the least possible debt, keep your eyes peeled for grants and scholarships, as well as using your summer work earnings. It never hurts to have some easy money at your disposal.
#3 - Look for a job on campus
Having an on-campus job is very convenient, as it keeps you from paying for transport, as well as can be a lot easier to work your schedule around. From washing dishes in the campus kitchen to working backstage at the theatrical production, it's an awesome opportunity.
#4 - Turn a hobby into a money-making endeavor
Do you knit? Do you bake? Do you have some kind of skill you can make money off of? Try turning that skill into a personal business or contribute to that of a friend's. You could be amazed with how much you can make off of a silly hobby.
#5 - Save on Snacks
Steer clear of buying things aimlessly from the dorm vending machine. Most of the time, the snacks kept inside of them are far from healthy. Instead, you and your roomie should consider shopping at the local market to keep some snacks in a dorm fridge or heat up in a microwave! It could save you some pocket money, and you'll never have to worry about someone getting that last snickers bar.
#6 - Use dorm or campus computers to avoid using your own
The cost of purchasing your own laptop or computer in addition to the cost of maintaining one is often times something a college student could do without. At most universities and schools, there are computer labs open at many (if not all) hours. Using these resources instead of using your own can be a big money-saver.
#7 - PAY YOUR RENT ON TIME
This tip cannot be reiterated enough. It's very important to pay your rent on time, it is the single most important aspect of living on your own. Whether or not you need to dip into your savings, it is a priority to get that payment.....in. on. time.
#8 - Separate your needs from your wants
In life, you will always be faced with that constant comparison between luxury and necessity goods. At the level of a young adult, the line between these two categories becomes a bit blurry. To better distinguish the differences among them, remember to always, always, always think before purchasing something. Make sure you have what you need before getting what you want.
#9 - Take advantage of student discounts
The normal provisions and costs of doing things at a university can almost always be reduced by a simple flash of your student I.D. card. You never know if a local off-campus business or service will charge you less for being a local scholar! If you don't know for sure, it never hurts to ask.
#10 - Make a spending plan
It NEVER hurts to have a list of goals and expenses worked out ahead of time before diving headfirst into the college life. If you have a written plan of what amounts of money you will spend on food, books, and other miscellaneous things, studies show that you are up to 70% more likely o make better purchasing choices. Make that list, work out that spending plan.
#11 - Pay yourself First
Be sure to put money into your savings account BEFORE spending it on other things. If you make setting money aside a priority, it is a lot more likely to happen. Realize the value (pun intended) of setting aside savings, as you never know when you may have to dip into them. You made that money; pay yourself first.
#12 - Net Worth DOES NOT equal Self-Worth
Sure, having money is important, but it isn't everything in the world. It is only a tool to get you where you think you need to go. There are ALWAYS alternatives to spending money. Love yourself before loving your paycheck!