Staying Financially Stable While in College

Listen, it’s always hard to talk about finances. Never is someone in a position where they feel like they have “too much money.” People are always trying to increase their earning potential, maximize savings, and eventually settle down somewhere with a nice picketed fence, a golden retriever named Bud, and a happy family. However, many times at a young age, money is the last thing we think about. Take me for example, I am a college student who loathes talking on the phone with my parents about how much money I am making, how much money I am saving, and worst of all, how much money I am spending. Because of this, I decided to jump on the personal finance train early, and consider ways that I can start saving money, or at least have a little extra walking around cash.

My strategy is quite simple; do well in school, work at night and on the weekends, and try and squeeze a social life somewhere between. So here I am going to save you some time and give you tips on becoming financially sound while in college.

Step 1: Do well in school. I’m not your parents telling you that a good GPA is the goal to a good job after college, but I am saying that it’s always nice to have a strong understanding of the subjects you are taking to utilize those in the real world.

Step 2: Get a part-time job. If you are like me, you always are looking for something to do. A part-time job at night will not only occupy you when you’re not in class, but it also will keep you from going out every night and spending money. I make sure to save at least half of my paycheck each time I get paid, so that when I am on my own after college, I will sleep safe at night knowing I can pay for my rent.

Step 3: Look for a secondary/passive income. These can be anything from taking part in studies at your school to taking surveys online. College campuses are covered in flyers from the psychology department for studies where you answer a few questions and get paid $20 for a hour of your time. Now I know what you’re thinking, “$20? That’s nothing!” Although it is a small amount, that is easily 3 dinners you can spend that money on, instead of dipping into that money you made at your job. Along with that, if you don’t want to leave the house, online surveys are everywhere. These sites are free and easy to sign up for. You can easily make a quick couple of bucks from your couch taking surveys on anything from T.V. shows to Fast Food menus. However, you are going to want to read up on certain sites, to ensure that you are joining the right ones to maximize your earnings, and not waste your time talking useless surveys.

Step 4: Apply for scholarships. Although this technically isn’t money you can spend on everyday stuff, it is money that you can spend on school, saving you that money in the long run. It is always a good idea to save as much money as you can on college, because when you get out, you will be staring at a number that is at least 4-5 figures long of debt depending on where you go.

Step 5: Enjoy yourself. Now that you have a couple sources of money, you can go out and enjoy your 4 years of college. Don’t worry too much about your future finances, because if you save up while in college, you will have a good financial stepping stone for post-graduate life.

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