40 Tips Poster

Twelve Best Tips for College Students by: Rachel Larrivee

1. Get Organized

Financially organizing yourself will save you time and money in the future. Take a few hours to make or gather records of savings and spendings to prepare you for college life. Some things you will want to organize specifically are bill payments, taxes, insurance, loans, receipts and many more.

2. Protect Your Personal Information

After saving up and working hard for all those years, your money is exactly that, YOUR money. Don’t let someone else take it and use it. The way to prevent that from happening is protecting your personal information, especially your financial information. This can be done by never giving anyone your social security number, bank account number or credit card. And if you do over the internet, make sure your computer security is up to date.

3. Understand Your Financial Aid:

Read through your Financial aid packet thoroughly. Make sure you are aware of the specific obligations needed to be fulfilled in order to continue to receive the money. Knowing your responsibilities will simplify your financial life by helping you to determine exactly how much money you have to deal with

4. Make School Your First Job:

Like a student athlete, a working college student must be a student first. Your number one priority is getting accustomed to college life and school work, then your job. You should not try to take on a full time job because it will be too much to handle and might interfere with your studies. In order to prevent this, a part time job with a work and study schedule will help you out a lot.

5. Save on Snacks

So much money can be saved if you choose wisely which foods you are spending it on. You should definitely chose to buy snacks at the local grocery store and keep them in your dorm or apartment. Not only will this save you money, but it will also improve your health by cutting out pricey and unhealthy vending machine foods.

6. Understand Your Student Loan Obligation

Before taking out a student loan, it is your responsibility to carefully read it and know what you are obligated to do with this money. Most student loans need to be repaid, with interest. So try to choose the best loan that suits you and has the lowest interest rate. Remember that you will have to pay it back so choose carefully!

7. Turn A Hobby Or Skill Into A Money Making Endeavor

Any sort of income is useful in college so be prepared to start up your own little business based off a skill or hobby that you have. This could span anywhere from jewelry making and pet-sitting, to tutoring and car detailing. The power is yours to put yourself out there and become an entrepreneur.

8. Always Pay Rent of Apartment On Time

Paying rent on time will improve and build good credit and ultimately improve your financial stability in life. Whether or not you are able to pay rent on time, keep communication open with your landlord and let them know your situation. Your landlord is your landline to financial reality, and can help you out as long as you make a plan to definitely pay them back.

9. Build A Good Credit

Having good credit and the decisions leading up to your credit can make or break your financial success in life. In fact, these decisions start now. Paying rent and bills on time, paying out loans and not bouncing checks will help you reach a good credit. Good credit will allow you to take out big loans for important things such as a house or cars in the future.

10. Pay Yourself First

It is very very important for you to save money at this point in your life, and going forward. In order to do so, an easy mental trick is to remind yourself with every paycheck, pay yourself first. All this really means is that you should set aside money to definitely save before you start spending your money on other various things.

11. Create A Budget And Stick To It

One of the most important tips came upon is to create and be loyal to a budget personalized specifically to you. Especially for a new college student, knowing exactly how much money you are sending and receiving is vital for your financial stability and future success.

12. Separating Wants From Needs

This tip is the most useful and important one of all, to separate your needs and your wants. In case it wasn't obvious, needs are things that you physically cannot live without, and wants are extraneous expenses that realistically, you could cut out. Confusing one with the other is extremely common, and also expensive because you are trying to justify spending too much money on things that you enjoy. Don’t cut out everything that makes you happy, just dig deep and honestly decide what you absolutely need in your life, versus what you want.