40 Tips Project

Its Actually More Like 15...

Elias Papakostas

Tip 1: Take Charge of Your Life-and Your Money

Create a plan for your financial goals. First find out what your goals are, then plan on how to achieve them. Next, act on that plan. You know you want to go to/finish college, but what does it take to do so and what happens after? Your parents will not manage your money for you, start thinking about it. What about retirement ?

Tip 2: Get Organized

It's all in the title, clean up your documents and information and sort it all out. For example, make sure to organize your stuff like bill payments, checking account statements, receipts, taxes, insurance, etc. Bills can include tuition, financial assistance, and other college costs.

Some Examples of Organizing


Don't be stupid. Just keep your numbers and accounts to yourself and don't throw away papers with the information. Don't post it online. Keep it all private and personal, and if you need to enter numbers of your credit card to order stuff online, make sure it is safe and not dodgy.

Tip 4: Don't Bounce Checks

Bouncing a check means that you pay more money in a check than you have in your bank account, so it gets declined, the bank charges you a fee, the store where it got bounced may charge you too, and you end up very unhappy. To avoid this happening, start by keeping track of what you have and what you pay. Make sure to double check the amounts you have and what is told to you in statements and the ATM, and be sure to check the dates of access to your account, what if someone stole your account info and has been using.

Tip 5: Understand Your Financial Aid

Don't get into something without first getting to know it. Is your financial aid expensive or not? Will it remain the same throughout your college career? Is it beneficial enough to maintain? Do your research and manage the plan well to reap the best rewards.

Tip 6: Watch Out for Scholarship Scams

People out there will take advantage of your ignorance and eagerness to get a scholarship.If you are offered a scholarship, make sure there are no strings attached in the form of "Just send x amount to receive the full information..." or "There is a small fee needed before the scholarship is applied". Real scholarships don't charge you fees or limit applications to those who pay for them.

Tip 7: Talk To A Financial Aid Officer if Your Situation Changes

Say your dad or mom loses his/her job or someone ends up critically injured and the bills for their health care start taking away money from your college tuition. Now what do you do about paying? Go to your financial aid officer to get more help from others to get back on solid footing.

Tip 8: Make School Your First Job

You might be someone who works to help pay for college, and that is highly respectable. But don't let your grades and school effort be lessened by putting work first. You are working to pay for school, so work hard at school to make it all worth it. Put more time in school to begin with, then consider work and other interests next.

Tip 9: Choose the Meal Plan That Works for You

It may sound foolish, but what you eat matters a lot when it comes to money in college. If you get a meal plan at your school, use it! You(or your parents) paid for a school year's worth of meals so don't go out to eat. You would just be wasting money. Pick the plan that fits you, and don't pay for unlimited food if you won't need it. On the flip side, don't be cheap on plans, you might go hungry.

Tip 10: Use the Dorm or College Computers Instead of buying Your Own

Unless you owned it beforehand, there is no real need to bring a PC to college. They have rooms full of them that you can use for schoolwork. They just aren't optimal for personal use, like playing games or watching movies, but you could probably over look that given how much a new computer might cost. Say it was several hundred dollars to buy, but later requires updating or repair. What if your courses require some software you cannot get anywhere but the school's computers. This renders your own PC useless.

Almost There...

Tip 11: Compare the Cost of an Apartment with that of a Dorm Room

Some people think that living off campus is cheaper than having a dorm room, and they might be right as long as they find out all the costs. Apartments might charge more for utilities and services, but if you split costs with a roommate and find a fair price for rent, it should be manageable. The advantages to an apartment are how you have a bigger space that is more like a home than a dorm room, but you might have a longer commute or rent might be higher.

Tip 12: Pay Your Rent on Time

Make sure to pay the landlord when he/she wants it if you opt to have an apartment off campus. If it is not humanly possible to pay on time, explain the situation and pay what you can. Offer to do jobs and chores to pay off what you owe them and make sure to be honest and make a plan to pay back the debt.

Tip 13: Create a Budget and Stick to It

You have to cut your expenses in college and be smart with you money. Don't fall to peer pressure and buy when you see others doing so, or spend money on material wants instead of needs. Stick to a predefined budget. What do have as income each month and what expenses must you pay? Maybe you will even save some money in your pocket for later.

Tip 14: Get Into Saving Habits

Save your money and be frugal. Saving money now will pay off later. You will be surprised when that $5 or $10 every now and then turns into a couple hundred a few months later.

Tip 15: Pay Yourself First

One of the best saving habits is paying yourself first. This might be putting a set amount of savings in the corner of each monthly expenses report you make or having your employer deduct part of your pay for your savings account. You could even put a dollar away each day and count it up later to see how much you have for personal use.