Hey Student Money Monkeys,
It’s almost back to school time and I thought I’d share with you some of the things I did (years ago!) to stay on top of my money when at school. If you start building your good money habits when you’re in school, they should stick with you for the rest of your life. The reverse is true as well. Build horrible money skills and you could be stuck with them OR the debt you accumulate due to them.
Here are my big back to school money tricks that payed off for me:
1. Get a job that will help you when you graduate.
Loads of my friends got jobs as beer reps or bartenders when I was in school. They were way cooler than me (then) and I know for sure those jobs got them more social perks (booze and booty). I can guarantee my part time job working at Merrill Lynch is still paying perks to me now. Plus I have the nicest car at school reunions.
Not only did I learn how to invest like the big guys, make way more than a bartender, but I also made connections that got me a job when I graduated. Who needs four years of booty and booze when I have an entire life of money skills!
2. Don’t use your line of credit or student loans.
If you don’t need to borrow the money don’t. Do everything you can to come out of school without any debt. work 35 hours and go to school (like I did), apply for every grant ans scholarship out there, eat Kraft dinner or noodles every night, do whatever you can do to minimize your debt.
Not only will this limit what fun-time funds you’ll have when you’re out but it’ll be a chain and ball for a ton of years after school. The average Canadian student takes 10 years to pay back their student debts!
3. Get a money mentor.
I had a mentor when I was in school who really helped and guided me. It’s easy to get absorbed into student mentality. All the parties, dating and hooliganism can get you to fall of the wagon. Keeping monthly chats with your mentor will keep you motivated to get good grades, take the correct classes, and know that one day you’ll be at the other end of the tunnel.
4. Don’t take your credit card to the bar.
That’s all. Don’t do it.
Keep loving your grades and money!