College campuses across America and here in Kansas are buzzing as students have returned and started classes. It’s a very exciting time for students, as they are meeting new people and planning out fall activities. However, it can also be a financially scary proposition; thousands of 18 to 22-year old students effectively on their own making their own financial decisions. This is what makes college a key time for developing financial habits. The two main lessons college can teach is how to save more money (or spend less), and how to generate income. We have come up with four ways to help reinforce and learn those lessons. Give them a quick read, and then put them into action.
- Save money on textbooks- You may think you are getting the best deal on a used textbook at the bookstore, but there may be a cheaper online option in many cases. Before heading to the bookstore, visit Amazon, Chegg, and Facebook pages to see if you can find your textbook for cheaper. By doing a little extra research, you can save on the books you would have spent hundreds of dollars on at the bookstore.
- Make the most of your food plan- Food and meals will forever be a cost in your life, so utilize the prepaid plan you purchased through the dining hall. If you bought 14 meals per week and they do not roll over, by all means use the 14 meals each week. You already paid for them, so be sure to make the most of it. Not doing so is akin to throwing money in the trash can.
- Be an academic all-star- You may be wondering how going to class will save you money. We’re sure we don’t need to tell you the expenses of one year of college. Failing in your academics could put you on pace for additional years in college, which means more student loan debt.
- Get a part-time job- Many college campuses offer work study opportunities that are flexible with your class schedule. A part-time job will allow you to have a bit of extra money in your pocket when it comes time to spend it on a meaningful experience or on specific needs.