Ways to Get Ahead and Grow Your College Fund
College days can be some of the best times of your life, but there is one issue that’s going to hit you right away: you’re not going to be rich. The whole point of going to college is to equip yourself with the knowledge and qualifications that will help you make money in the future, but these few years are going to be low on income and low budget, even if they are high on fun. Here are ways to improve your college finances.
Work Before/When You Get There
That means getting a job during the breaks between semesters and after school. If that doesn’t sound appealing, remember that jobs can be fun. You’ll meet people and learn life skills. But most importantly, jobs involve not just working but getting paid for it.
So, open a bank account and put as much as you can in there very payday, and leave it there. In addition to giving you a little reserve of cash, this is the start of your relationship with the finance industry, and like it or not, these people pull a lot of strings throughout your life.
As soon as you enter the system, you start to build a credit score or rating. This tells people how trustworthy you are with money, so they can assess whether to lend you some or not. The first benefit of this will come when you apply for a student loan. A bank loan to fund your college days comes with strings attached.
They want it to be repaid in regular instalments over a fixed period. If you have been saving money with the bank, even in a small way, it shows a certain level of responsibility, and they like that. If you can get a part-time job that doesn’t clash with classes or study time, that’s a little regular income that can make all the difference to your day-to-day living.
Choose your City and College Wisely
Geographical location is important in several ways, not least how much it costs you to get there for semesters and back home again between them. Some cities are more expensive to live in than others.
See if You’re Eligible for Grants and Scholarships
Any number of things can make you attractive to a particular college. You might be good for their sports teams or their orchestra. Your ethnicity might be in a group they want to increase for the sake or diversity. Check out each college to see if there is anything appropriate for you and sell yourself. Don’t be shy. Scholarships are a great way to pay for some (or even all) of your degree and you can make repayments after graduation to avoid the financial impact while you’re in college.
Choose Low-Cost Accommodation and Live Economically
You want decent accommodations, warm and dry and safe, but you don’t need to live in a palace. If they have their own blocks of rooms which are cheaper than living off-campus, that will do. If not, look for the cheaper parts of town and get a place there. Learn to cook for yourself. Buying ingredients and making meals from scratch is cheaper than buying ready meals. Healthier, too, because of all the hidden salt, sugar, and additives they put in these things. As for eating out, accept that it’s not really an option most of the time.