Do you know how to handle your money? Did you just make a “maybe” face? As a recent college grad, I want to share this Business Insider article with all you students out there because it touches on why so many grads don’t know how to budget and what YOU can do to change that—because when you enter the real world, you’ll wish had!
Here’s a recap on the article’s advice, plus a few bonus tips from Find Your Calling:
1. Choose your college major wisely. The best thing you can do for your wallet is to go into college with a plan. Set a career goal and pick your major accordingly so you don’t waste time and money on classes you don’t need! Wondering how to do that? See FYC’s recent article on how to take control of your education and cut down debt.
2. Learn to budget. Make a list of all of the things you spend your money on, in order most to last important, and this will give you an idea of what you can cut out. Our friends at Ramsey Solutions have just the app for you in EveryDollar, which helps you budget from your computer or phone with ease so you can save money—for free!
3. Live within your means. Spend only what you have or can pay off immediately. Credit cards seem like a free pass, but they can eat you alive! They’re productive only if you stay right on top of them. Bottom line, if you “need” a credit card, you can’t afford it.
4. Take advantage of “free” stuff and student discounts! Your tuition includes all sorts of “free” things. News flash: They aren’t free, you’re already paying for them! So be smart and get everything you can out of your school. And always, always, always ask if there’s a student discount. Did I say always?
5. Forward-thinking means just that: Think ahead. Think about your future. Do you really need that movie ticket, dinner out, spring-break road trip? Living on a tighter budget now will be worth it when you live a little more lavishly later.
6. Build a savings. The EveryDollar app I mentioned earlier will help with this. You’ll thank yourself later. Even if it’s minimal, every dollar counts! You might even like to give names to different savings so that you have more motivation to save—like “Future House” or “Downpayment for Car.”
7. Find ways to make money on the side. There are so many ways to make a little extra cash even while you’re a student. Turn your hobby into a side job. Photography, editing, tutoring, music lessons—what are you already good at? What can you offer others? Get paid to do something you love!
“Many students lack these 7 important skills, which keeps them from winning with money long term,” says Anthony ONeal, youth and money expert and speaker with Ramsey Solutions. “It’s important that students learn how to budget, save money, and learn to live within their means early in life so they can avoid the financial mistakes and regrets that many adults have.”
And as a final step, Find Your Calling can help you discover not only high-paying careers that fit your interests, but also the right colleges and programs for the right price! Get started by taking the Discovery Questionnaire to see how your strengths and interests match up with careers.