15 Money Management Tips

By Will Soghikian

Tip #1 Take Charge of your Life, And your Money

This tip may seem simple, but it is one of the most important tips in my opinion. This tip will help you set a solid and strong foundation for your financies. This tip is all about understanding your money. Think of money as something that can help you, not just something to spend. Thinking like this is known as financial planning, and can be broken into three simple steps. 1. Define your financial goals 2. Make plans to reach your goals 3. Take action until your goals become a reality. If you follow this plan, and these steps to a "T" than you will be in a good financial situation!

Tip #2 Known the Ground Rules

This next tip is directed towards teenagers, so I thought that it was pretty important to know. First off, ground rules is referring to what your parents think good rules are for you and your money. To learn about these, you need to have a discussion with your parents and talk about the following things. First of all, talk to your parents about money in general. They know more than you think, and they can answer all of your questions. Make sure to ask them what their expectations are about your money, do they want you to get a job, or do they want you to focus on school? You should also make sure they are willing and able to help you out if you happen to get into a jam with financies! The last and most important thing of this discussion with your parents should be focused on college. You need to figure out if your parents will help you, and how much they will help you. This can be like a business deal with them, good luck!


Tip #3 Get Organized!

This tip is another very simple one, but this will also help you have a good financial foundation. Many people are not organized, and it can mean the world if you are. It will help you make all your payments on time, and you will never miss one if you do it right! You must have notebooks for school, and you use them to stay organized. Financies are no different, get a few notebooks to keep track of your spending. You can use this system to pay bills on time, meet important deadlines, keep all your receipts and many more! A suggested way to label all of your files is in these 9 simple and organized catagories. Bill payments, Checking account savings and investments, college, financial aid, Insurance, loan and credit records, receipts and warranties, and last but not least taxes. This is a fool proof way to keep yourself organized and on top of your money!


Tip #7 Make School Your First Job

This tip is one that my parents and I have agreed on. If a student decides to get a job, no matter what is at stake school always comes first. School is one of the most important things that you do in the early stages of your life, and no parent wants their kid sacrificing school for a job. Jobs are great to have, but they can easily get in the way of school and no one wants that. Some people need to have jobs so they can pay for their college, and are crucial to their lifestyle. The first tip for handling a job during school is to try and limit your hours, work the least amount that you have too! Remember you should have more time scheduled for school. The second tip about handling a job, is to always remember, that school will give you the biggest payoff down the road. It may seem that the job you have is paying off more, but you will soon realize that college pays off way more. Lastly! You must always go through your financial aid office and tell them that you are thinking about getting a job. Because getting a job will most likely effect your aid. Just be careful not to have your job overrun your life.


Tip #8 Look For A Job On Campus

If you are one of the kids in school that decides to get a job, there is one thing that will definitely make it 100% easier for you. Get a job on campus! This will make your life and handling a job so much easier. Having a job on campus has many advantages to one off site. First of all and obviously you will have to travel a lot less, saving you money for transportation and time. Another benefit is these jobs since they are on campus realize that the kids do not have very flexible schedules, so they will help give you shifts you can handle. The most important and best benefit to working on campus is many of your professors will know about job openings in the area. This means you might be able to get a job that is related to your major. This will help you make money now, but also in the long run because you are getting job experience. Overall a job on campus will save you students a lot.


Tip #9 Choose The Meal Plan That Works For You

This is another one of those simple tips, but can save you a boatload of money. When going to college no one gives much thought to the food that they are eating. But when it comes to most food plans at college you can either save a lot of money or spend a lot. Many of the meal plans at college are either "Unlimited Food" or a "Limited Amount". If you buy the Unlimited Food, it is not only much more expensive for you, but you feel obligated to eat more food. This is unnecessary and you will become out of shape if you do this. The other plan which is the limited one, gives you less food, which is good because it costs much less, and you do not feel obligated to eat as much food as you would with an unlimited amount. A meal plan is a simple yet very east place to save money. Find a plan that works for you, and save yourself some money!


Tip #10 Save On Snacks

This tip kind of piggy backs off of the one above. It is all about saving money on snacks. People do not realize this but snacks can be pretty expensive. Maybe one or two snacks is not that much, but they can add up. This tip suggests that you should not buy snacks or drinks out of vending machines. These snacks are often overpriced and not worth it. Instead of buying stuff here, go to a large store like Sam's Club or a grocery store and buy snacks in bulk. This way the snacks are much cheaper and you also have a larger variety. If you do this, you will most likely need a refrigerator, and you can split this cost with your dorm mates. I am sure they will be happy with getting a fridge in the dorm. Doing this will save you so much money, and you will start to make healthier choices!


Tip #11 Use The Dorm Or Campus Computers Instead Of Buying Your Own

This tip can save you tons of money because if you decide to use this tip, you will not have to buy a computer. We all know how much computers cost nowadays, anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over a few thousand! You definitely need a computer at school, there is no doubt about that. But unless you have your own computer already, there are other options out there other than buying one. Many colleges now offer computer labs, a place where there are just loads of computers, laptops and printers for you to use. This way you do not have to travel anywhere to get a computer, and it is 100% free! These computers ensure that you will always have the lastest and greatest software. You will also most likely have access to a color printer, which is always very important. You should definitely look into using the schools computers, instead of buying your own. This will save you loads of money!


Tip #12 Separate Needs From Wants

This tip is the most important one ever in my opinion. If someone can separate needs from wants, than they will save themselves so much money. Food for instance is obviously a need but that Starbucks double latte frap is a want. But than sometimes when you are cramming for a test, that coffee seems like a need to you. Coffee can be a need in that situation, but the gourmet coffee latte is not a need, it is a want. Needs and wants can be changing all the time, and there are many situations when a want turns into a need. But do not make up excuses just to have a certain something that you want. When you are spending your money, think about what is really important to you and what has lasting value. Considering needs and wants should help you identify ways to save money and meet your goals.


Tip #13 Create A Budget And Stick To It

This tip is also a very important one. A budget can be referred to as a financial map. It tells you exactly how much money you have coming in every month, and how much you can spend. If you are not very good with money, or even if you are, you should have a budget. It will help you keep in line with your expenses and you will find yourself managing your money well. A budget will also show you were you are spending to much money, and show you were you can save a few bucks. Everyone should have a budget, no matter how rich or poor they may be.


Tip #14 Pay Yourself First!

This tip is all about habits. This tip will help you easily form good habits about saving money. This title of this tip says it all, pay yourself first. This means before you spend any other money always put some away in a separate savings account. This way you are always saving money no matter what, and you are not tempted to spent it all. It does not matter how much money you choose to put away each month, no amount of money is too small. Over time even 10$ will grow and earn interest, everyone started out small at some point! Be sure to include this saving in your budget! You can even have your employer do this for you, straight from your pay check. This tip will be awesome for anyone trying to save a few bucks here and there, it'll grow over time I promise!


Tip #15 Net Worth Is Not The Same As Self-Worth

Money is important in life, no doubt, but it is not everything. There are many things that are more important than money, such as Good Friends, Strong Values and work you enjoy. All of these things will always add up to be worth more than money! Money is only a vehicle to help to where you want to go. Manage it well, cut expenses, avoid borrowing money at high interests and most importantly watch your money grow! Life is a journey, and money is important, but not the most important thing. Do not let it run your life, enjoy life and do not waste your time counting your bills...