Here are some of my tips for all of you thinking of school in September. With school being even more competitive and Universities and Colleges pushing off more and more of the cost on students, I have some tips that really helped me out.
They are based on what I did in University to come out with a positive cash balance instead of debt! I had made money in University so I could buy a loft and travel for 6 months after I had graduated. I bet loads of students would like to find out how I did it.
Here are my big tips:
- To build credit, pay your cell, cable, online and other fixed costs with a pre-authorized payment on your credit card. Budget how much it’ll be each month and pay if off in full.
- Use you debit card or cash for your miscellaneous cost. When your money is gone at the end of the month, it’s gone. This will keep you to your budget.
- Get a part time job that will help you when you graduate. This will not only open some doors for you when you’re out of school, it’ll give you extra cash to help with the cost of being a student. I worked at Merrill Lynch in London, ON and got a job when I had finished school.
- Sell your old stuff. Check out old hockey equipment, text books, collectables, and comics and try to sell them online. Try to sell it before you toss it.
- Implement “Financially Free Fridays”. Make your own coffee, eat at home, and play board games with your friends. You still have 6 other days to go out and party. It’ll save you a ton.
- Save 10% from EVERY cheque you ever receive and save it. Even if times are hard, don’t touch it. This strategy has made many people very rich. So do it!
- Get a student discount card and save on everything you can, movies, computers, transit, even some restaurants offer discounts. I used mine until I was in my 30’s!
- Pick a financial mentor and meet with them once a month. Be sure to discuss with them your challenges and successes with your money. My mentor helped me navigate the trappings of school mentality and had me write my CSC and get experience for the real world. I still got to party and travel ;).
- Apply to every corporate, government, scholarship and bursary that is available. There are online sites that categorize them so you can see which ones you can apply for. Don’t leave any resource untapped.
- Join professional or investing clubs at school. You’ll make great business relationships, learn to invest, and learn from other ambitious students.
Have an awesome week!